Tag: omnibus

Hundreds arrested at ‘omnibus law’ demonstrations in Jakarta

Indonesian police arrested 400 people Thursday at protests in the capital Jakarta against a contentious new jobs-creation law that critics say undermines workers’ rights, state news agency Antara reported.



a group of people standing around a fire: A protester throws a traffic cone onto a fire during Thursday in Jakarta.


© Ed Wray/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
A protester throws a traffic cone onto a fire during Thursday in Jakarta.

At least 60 demonstrators and six police were injured at the demonstration near the Presidential Palace during the third day of a nationwide strike and demonstrations in the Southeast Asian nation, the news agency reported.

Videos showed protesters shouting, throwing stones, breaking into buildings and setting fires near the national palace as police deployed water cannon and tear gas to disperse the crowds.

The Indonesian Red Cross said some protesters were suffering from a shortness of breath after police fired tear gas. They also fired water cannon to disperse the crowd.

Critics say the new legislation, locally known as the “omnibus law,” scraps some labor rights, indigenous community rights and environmental protections. They also complain the legislation was rushed through parliament without consultation with unions.

President Joko Widodo has touted the law as a tool to create new jobs, reform labor regulations, cut red tape and attract foreign investment.

Protests erupted in major cities across Indonesia after the law’s passage in the House of Representatives on Monday.

Jakarta Metropolitan Police spokesman Yusri Yunus told Antara that police officers were injured after a group of people joined the demonstrations, and started rioting and vandalizing public facilities.

Yunus confirmed the 400 arrests and referred to the demonstrators as “an anarchic group.”

Jakarta police have deployed over 9,000 personnel as a precautionary measure against protests, Yunus told Antara.



Police use shields to protect themselves Thursday, the third day in a nationwide strike against a controversial new labor law.


© BAY ISMOYO/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Police use shields to protect themselves Thursday, the third day in a nationwide strike against a controversial new labor law.



a group of people in front of a large crowd of people: Protesters gather in Jakarta Thursday to demonstrate against the law.


© BAY ISMOYO/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Protesters gather in Jakarta Thursday to demonstrate against the law.

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Protests spread across Indonesia in opposition of omnibus jobs law

Oct. 8 (UPI) — Tens of thousands of people in Indonesia took part in the third day of protests against a sweeping law cutting protections for workers and the environment.

Riot police fired tear gas and water cannons at protesters in the nation’s capital, Jakarta, where authorities said they had detained more than 800 people as protesters defied a ban on gathering amid the COVID-19 pandemic and attempted to march on the presidential palace.

Protesters threw rocks at police and burned a police post and two transit stops, as leaders of a national strike said the violence was not affiliated with the labor action.

The protests were sparked by a 900-page omnibus bill amending more than 75 laws allowing companies to cut pay for workers, eliminate days off and hire contract workers.

It also relaxed environmental standards, only requiring businesses to file an environmental impact analysis for projects that are considered high risk.

The government said the law is designed to strengthen the economy amid negative impacts due to the pandemic by opening it to more foreign investment.

“We want to simplify the licensing and bureaucracy [process], we want speed, so a harmonization of law is needed to create speedy services, speedy policymaking so that Indonesia would be faster to respond to every world change,” President Joko Widodo told the BBC.

A coalition of 15 activist groups, including trade unions, have opposed the bill and called on workers to join a national strike.

“It is staggering that while Indonesia is, like other countries, facing the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic the government would seek to further destabilize people’s lives and ruin their livelihoods so that foreign companies can extract wealth from the country,” said Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation.

Organizers said protests have been held in more than 60 locations and that about 1 million people have participated in walkouts each day.

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Thousands protest against ‘omnibus law’ on jobs

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across Indonesia since Tuesday
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across Indonesia since Tuesday

Workers in Indonesia are protesting for the third straight day after a new job creation law was passed this week.

Thousands have taken part in strikes and demonstrations in several cities, with hundreds detained by the police.

Protesters are worried that the so-called “omnibus law” will hurt both workers and the environment.

But the government says the changes are needed to help its economy which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Demonstrations have gathered steam in the capital Jakarta and other cities such as Bandung on Wednesday and Thursday, after relatively peaceful protests earlier in the week.

Indonesian police detained at least 400 protesters, including some who were allegedly armed with molotov cocktails and sharp weapons.

The bill, which is over 1,000 pages long and amends 79 existing laws, was passed on Monday with the support of seven out of nine parties.

Why enact the law?

The bill is aimed at relaxing Indonesia’s complex web of business, labour and environmental laws in an attempt to attract investment and stimulate the economy.

In an interview in January, President Joko Widodo told the BBC that the law is about removing red tape and opening the economy to more foreign investment.

“We want to simplify the licensing and bureaucracy (process), we want speed, so a harmonisation of law is needed to create speedy services, speedy policymaking, so that Indonesia would be faster to respond to every world change,” he said.

Indonesia’s economy, which is the largest in South East Asia, shrank by 5.3% in the second quarter of this year.

What does the law do?

In addition to removing red tape, the bill makes significant changes to Indonesia’s labour regulations.

It abolishes the sectoral minimum wage, in favour of minimums set by regional governors.

It will reduce severance pay to a maximum of 19 months salary, depending on how long the employee has had the job. Previously the maximum was 32 months pay.

However, a new government fund will provide an additional six months pay to the newly unemployed.

Allowable overtime will be increased to a maximum of four hours in one day and 18 hours a week. Businesses will only be required to give workers one day off a week instead of two.

Restrictions on outsourcing have also been reduced, as have restrictions on the jobs in which expatriates can work.

The law also relaxes environmental standards, only forcing businesses to file an environmental impact analysis if their projects are considered high risk.

By Callistasia Wijaya

BBC News Indonesia

The so-called “omnibus law” is expected to create nearly three millions of jobs for young people who start looking for jobs and six million people who have lost jobs because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While Indonesia’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index has significantly improved in the past five years, it remained stagnant at 73rd in 2019.

It lags behind Vietnam and it

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