|Workers in Serang city staged a demonstration to protest Omnibus Law|
Sunday, October 4, 2020
Joint press release by Gerakan Buruh Bersama Rakyat (GEBRAK) and Aliansi Gerakan Rakyat Daerah
A coalition of various people’s movement organizations under Gerakan Buruh Bersama Rakyat or GEBRAK (Movement of Workers with the People) and Aliansi-aliansi Daerah (Regional Alliances) are urging a NATIONAL CALL TO ACTION: INDONESIAN PEOPLE’S GENERAL STRIKE that will be held on October 6, 7 and 8, 2020.
This national call to action is triggered by the Indonesian Government and Parliament’s position to disregard the people’s aspirations. Quietly, the parliament have incessantly deliberated on the Omnibus Law on Job Creation in the midst of worsening COVID-19 pandemic handling that have resulted in the mass layoffs of workers while large corporations continue to receive stimulus packages.
The Omnibus Law deliberations were held quietly like cat and mouse, transparency in information about what is deliberated was very limited while protests against it from various groups were not heard and ignored, even the latest information on the immediate passage of the Omnibus Law in the next few days before the Closing Period Plenary Session VI scheduled for October 8th.
The limited public information on this deliberation agenda is reflected in the sudden Level 1 Decision Making Session held last night, October 3rd, 2020. In this session, the party factions were given an opportunity to express their views whereby out of all 9 factions, 7 approved the Omnibusa Bill on Job Creation while 2 others, the Democratic Party and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), stated their rejection.
Three ministers were present in the House of Representatives’ Senayan Building where the Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartanto stated the government’s view that there no more doubt to not pass the bill and put it into law in the level 2 decision making plenary session.
The government and House of Representatives’ insistence to pass the controversial policy continue to demonstrate that the government and House of Representatives today are servants to capital and are not attuned to the suffering of workers, farmers, fishermen, Indigenous Peoples and other little people who are currently impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. With the Omnibus Law, the government and House of representatives is deliberately sacrificing the fate of the majority of its people in the interest of the oligarchy and capital.
Since the government initiated the Omnibus Law at the start, GEBRAK and Regional Alliances have stated our firm position to reject the Omnibus Law in its entirety, not just the Labor cluster. In our view, the Omnibus Law on Job Creation does not only harmful to workers but also farmers, Indigenous Peoples, youth, students, urban poor communities, fishermen and the majority of other little people.
The government’s reason to draft the Omnibus Law is to draw investments and create employment is clearly mistaken. Serving investments does not equate to creating employment. The Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board have recorded between 2013 and 2019, investments coming into Indonesia have increased but has a negative correlation with increasing employment.
For example, in 2016 USD 28.96 billion in foreign investment have employed 951,939 workers through employment but in first quarter of 2019, USD 29.31 billion in investments only employed 490.368 workers. In actuality, the Omnibus Law provides a red carpet for investors and expands the power of the oligarchy to continue exploiting the majority of the people.
Not only that, the excuse of simplifying permitting processes and land acquisition in the Omnibus Law will result in increased land grabbing and agrarian conflict. Land and other agrarian resources as a source of livelihood and culture for farmers and the Indonesian people is only turned into a commodity that can be taken or destroyed forcefully at any point for the interest of investors and corporations.
The Omnibus Law also revived the colonial concept “Domein Verklaring” through Land Use Management (Hak Pengelolaan Lahan) that gives corporate plantations and land monopoly actors in Indonesia Cultivation Rights Title (Hak Guna Usaha) for 90 straight years. The situation will worsen the land ownership disparity in Indonesia where currently 1 percent of the population owns 68 percent of lands (including land asset value).
GEBRAK views the trickle down economics that underpins the Omnibus Law as justification to continue to enrich the oligarchy and plunder the majority of the poor people, including worsening labor conditions, cheap wages, ease in layoffs, and environmental destruction.
How is it possible for the Omnibus Law to create jobs by making layoffs easier? Labor market flexibilization is the same as forcing people to work under modern day slavery. The people work hard but are impoverished because their sweat is exploited brutally by capital.
As a result, there is no other reason for GEBRAK and Alliances of the people’s movement in the Regions except to demonstrate our strongest resistance to repeal the Omnibus Law. GEBRAK along other alliances of the people in various regions will stage mass actions; general strike for three days starting October 6, 7 and 8 in all cities across Indonesia.
GEBRAK and the Alliances of the Regional People’s National Action will be held in Jakarta, Tangerang, Banten, Bogor, Bekasi, Karawang, Purwakarta, Subang, Cimahi, Sumedang, Bandung Raya, Garut, Tasikmalaya, Indramayu, Cirebon, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Solo, Blora, Gresik, Surabaya, Sidoarjo, Kaltim, Makasar, Lampung, South Sumatra, Riau, Jambi, North Sumatera, Batam, NTT, dll. GEBRAK stands with other movements for the people.
On October 8, 2020, massive actions will take place in front of the House of Representatives and Local Government buildings in each cities. Working members of GEBRAK that will join the National Action include workers from the manufacturing industry, dock workers, plantation workers, workers from state-owned businesses, ready mix and construction, oil and gas sector, transportation workers, bank workers, medical workers, market, retail, mining, pulp and paper, chemicals, shoe factory workers, garment, timber, automotive, electronic, plastic and more.
In addition to workers, GEBRAK members that will also join the National Action are farmers, students, youth, women, college teachers, urban poor, street vendors, law practitioners as well as human rights and civil rights activists.
For that reason, on October 6, 7 and 8, 2020 GEBRAK and all the alliances and network in Indonesia urge a NATIONAL ACTION: INDONESIAN PEOPLE’S GENERAL STRIKE and call for one demand:
REPEAL THE OMNIBUS LAW IN ITS ENTIRETY!
The Indonesian House of Representatives Plenary Session must not pass and put into law the Job Creation Bill.
The people do not need the Omnibus Law, what we need are Indonesian House of Representatives, Government and Cabinet to:
Stop all layoffs and violation of workers’ rights during the COVID-19 pandemic;
Stop the land grabbing and eviction of people’s land, implement Genuine Agrarian Reform;
Stop the criminalization of activists and the repression of democracy;
Repeal the Coal and Mineral Mining Law that harms the people;
Demand the passing of bills that guarantee the fundamental rights of the people, safety of every single citizen, in particular vulnerable and marginalized groups, through the passing of Elimination of Sexual Violence Bill, Indigenous Peoples Bill and Domestic Worker Bill;
Optimize the resources of the House of Representatives to focus on its function to oversee and budget for the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and respond to the impacts of the economic crisis nationally and systematically.
Thus we convey our statement to all the working class and people of Indonesia, to gain your support for the National Action we will hold. We hope all elements of the Indonesian people can join us in the streets together and be guided under one large fight to demand the repeal of the Omnibus Law in its entirety.
Jakarta, October 4, 2020
All members of Gerakan Buruh Bersama Rakyat (GEBRAK) Jakarta, Lampung, Kerawang and Sumatera Selatan.
All members of Gerakan Buruh JAKARTA (GBJ)
All members of Gerakan Rakyat Menggugat (GERAM) SEMARANG
All members of Gerakan Tolak Omnibus Law (GETOL) JAWA TIMUR
All members of Aliansi Rakyat Bergerak (ARB/Gejayan Memanggil) Yogyakarta
All members of Buruh Riau Bersatu (BRB)
All members of Gerakan Rakyat Makassar
All members of Aliansi Buruh Banten Bersatu (AB3)
All members of Aliansi SB/SP Kalimantan Timur
All members of Aliansi Buruh Subang (ABS)
All members of Buruh Garut Melawan Omnibus Law
All members of Buruh Cimahi Tolak Omnibus Law
All members of Buruh Indramayu Lawan Omnibus Law
All members of Buruh Madiun Tolak Omnibus Law
All members of Gerakan Suara Tuntutan Rakyat (GESTUR) Jambi
Contact Person :
1. Nining Elitos (KASBI) 62 813-1733-1801.
2. Ilhamsyah (KPBI) +62 812-1923-5552.
3. Dewi Kartika (KPA) +62 81394475484
4. Danis Seniar Yullea Paripurna (GETOL) +628563331116
5. Indra Gunawan Sinulingga (BRB/SPPI) +62 813-6462-1146
6. Arira Fitra (Mahasiswa/LMND DN) +62 812-7938-7969
7. Arif Maulana (LBH Jakarta) +62 817-256-167
8. Revo (ARB/Gejayan Memanggil) 082135231826
9. Yohannes Joko Purwanto (KSN) +62 822-8121-5469