• Thursday, Feb 09, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Clashes erupt in protests against new Indonesian jobs law

  • Published at 10:05 am October 8th, 2020
A policeman walks past a burning car as protesters clash with security personnel on the last day of a three-day nationwide strike against a new law which critics fear favours investors at the expense of labour right and the environment, in Malang on October 8, 2020 AFP

In the past two days, almost 400 people have been detained in major cities, and two students hospitalized with serious head injuries

Police and demonstrators clashed in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Thursday on the third day of protests and labour strikes against a polarizing new jobs law passed in Southeast Asia’s largest economy earlier this week.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered near the presidential palace in central Jakarta, shouting and throwing stones. Police responded by firing tear gas and water cannon in an attempt to disperse the crowd, Reuters witnesses said.

The “omnibus” jobs creation bill, passed into law on Monday, has seen thousands of people across the world’s fourth-most populous nation take to the streets in protest against legislation they say undermines labour rights and weakens environmental protections.

“We ask that the law be repealed immediately,” Maulana Syarif, 45, who has worked at Astra Honda motors for 25 years, told Reuters in Jakarta. “This is our struggle for our children and grandchildren, and our future generations... If it's like this (with the new law) our well-being will decrease, and we will lack job certainty.”

“I feel a responsibility to the Indonesian people,” said another demonstrator, IT student Arawinda Kartika, as she marched toward the palace. “I feel sorry for labourers working day and night without sufficient wages or power.”

In the past two days, almost 400 people have been detained in major cities, and two students hospitalized with serious head injuries, as protests have swept across the archipelago.

On Thursday, demonstrations were underway in almost a dozen cities across the country with television channels showing protests, including in remote areas such as North Maluku, where demonstrators carried coffins and held mock funerals for the ‘death’ of the parliament.

The government of President Joko Widodo has championed the flagship legislation as key to boosting Indonesia’s ailing economy by streamlining regulations, cutting red tape and attracting more foreign direct investment.

Met with cautious optimism by some financial analysts, the bill has sparked a significant outcry, with labour unions, students and academics criticizing it for a lack of consultation, expedited passage, and problematic clauses they argue will disadvantage workers and the environment.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail