Indonesia: PDI-P, NasDem call to remove labor provisions from omnibus jobs bill

  • The ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the NasDem Party have pushed the government to drop labor provisions from the omnibus bill on job creation following growing public opposition.
  • The House of Representatives’ Legislation Body (Baleg) held a hearing on 14 Apr 20 with Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto, Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly and Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah.
  • Rieke Diah Pitaloka of the PDI-P faction, who is also Baleg’s deputy chairwoman, said during the hearing that the main substance of the bill should only be to improve the ease of doing business in Indonesia and attract investment.
  • The PDI-P, whose constituents are generally working class, has been reluctant to pursue the bill since the beginning. It was the only party to urge lawmakers not to rush into deliberation, citing public objections to the bill.
  • Baleg’s deputy chairman Willy Aditya of NasDem echoed Rieke, noting that the labor provisions in the bill should instead be included in revisions to other laws, for example, revisions to the Labor Law or the Industrial Dispute Settlement Law.
  • NasDem’s Taufik Basari suggested that the bill’s deliberation start with noncontroversial topics. He also asked the government to evaluate the existing draft to match the current situation.
  • Responding to the lawmakers, Airlangga said the government would not submit a new draft, asserting that the bill was necessary as written to anticipate the post-outbreak optimistic scenarios of world-economic improvement in 2021.
  • “Therefore, structural reform is needed. It needs to be done as soon as we overcome COVID-19,” he said.

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