INDONESIA: FSPMI calls for international solidarity for Indonesia workers

INDONESIA: FSPMI calls for international solidarity for Indonesia workers

The Federation of Indonesia Metalworkers Union (FSPMI), the most prominent federation within the Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) is opposing anti-worker labour law amendments proposed by the Indonesia government.

New regulations, known as the “omnibus” law bills, focus on five issues including minimum wage, severance pay and working hours, among other things. They have been officially handed over by the government to the parliament (The House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia).

This follows a deadline set by President Joko Widodo, which stresses the importance of attracting investment in order to create more jobs in the country. In line with this, 1,194 articles in 82 laws have been identified, that would be amended to accommodate this priority. There are 11 clusters in the job creation “omnibus” law bills, one of which is employment.

But FSPMI – and many other trade unions in Indonesia – has accused the government of violating workers’ rights. FSPMI wishes to revoke the cluster of employment from the law bills.

Their reasoning is that generally, labour law must contain three principles, namely the principle of job security; income security; and social security.

But unfortunately, in the “omnibus” law bills there is absolutely no reflection on employment security, income security and social security.  It means that the “omnibus” law bills offer no protection for workers and even eliminate the benefits that have been achieved by workers.

Lack of job certainty is reflected in outsourcing and lifetime contract work without limits, layoffs can be done easily, and unskilled migrant workers with no potential skills are free to enter Indonesia.  The lack of income certainty can be seen from the loss of the minimum wage, the loss of severance pay, and no more criminal sanctions for employers who pay wages below the minimum wage. Meanwhile, because outsourcing and contract work are freed, workers no longer get social security, such as pension insurance, old-age insurance, and others.

There are nine reasons for FSPMI, under the umbrella of KSPI, to refuse the contents of the “omnibus” law bills, especially for the employment cluster. They are loss of minimum wages, loss of severance pay, no limitation period for contract workers, no limitation on outsourcing workers, exploitative work hours, the potential for unskilled migrant workers to freely come to Indonesia, loss of social security through the lifetime outsourcing system and lifetime contract employee system, layoffs being made easy, and the disappearance of criminal sanctions.

FSPMI is requesting “support and solidarity” regarding this situation in Indonesia.