The Coalition of Oil Palm Labor is airing its rejection of the Omnibus Law on Employment Creation, saying that the super law that would revise a host of laws and regulations on manpower, was not in favor of workers and would only benefit corporations, and the government should better accord more attention to the welfare of worker instead.
“The government never touches the matter of the welfare of labor. The government instead, is providing more ease in investment. The Coalition of Oil Palm Labor firmly reject the Omnibus Law on Employment Creation,” said Hotler “Zidane” Pasaoran, coordinator of the coalition, in a press release received by The Palm Scribe on Wednesday (12/2).
According to the coalition, the Omnibus Law on Employment Creation that would revise the Law on Manpower, would only drop legal arrangements on minimum wage, compensation, job certainty, and social insurance for labor, while making it easier for foreign workers to come in and also erase criminal sanctions for entrepreneurs.
“The revision on the Law on Manpower has always been pushed by the government and entrepreneurs. We see the revision that is being pushed by entrepreneurs on wage scale, outsourcing, compensation and work contract had already been rejected by labor before, and are now reintroduced again through this Omnibus Law,” said Ridho from the Indonesian Union of Plantation Labor (Serbundo).
Ridho said that in the oil palm plantation sector, those proposals would pose a burden to the workforce, because they would risk having to work as contractual labor for years without certainty of getting a permanent job. “The facts on the field show that oil palm plantation workers work as contractual labors and as daily hires for years. These conditions would be legitimized through the Omnibus Law,” Ridho said.
Ismet Inoni, Head of the Organizational Department of the Indonesian Association of Labor Unions (GBSI) said that the Omnibus Law was a policy that was fully directed to service the interests of investment.
“The discussions on the Omnibus Law never involved labor unions, as the ones who will bear the impact, and despite the law being a policy that concerns the rights and interests of labor in Indonesia. The Omnibus Law Taskforce formed by the government is also dominated by entrepreneurs and the government, with no representation of the labor unions. The views of the labor force should have been a consideration for the government in revising the regulations on manpower,” Ismet said.
Andi Akbar from the Trade Union Rights Center (TURC) Indonesia said that the Omnibus Law on Employment Creation will carry a bad impact on more than 10 million oil palm plantation workers. “The extension of the types of contractual work or outsourcing work would only further extend the precariousness of oil palm plantation workers. On the other side, this policy would only protect entrepreneurs in engaging in violations against labor because the criminal sanctions are being dropped,” Andi said.
The Coalition of oil Palm Labor demanded that the government just revises the Law on Manpower without cancelling assurances regarding work certainty, fair wages, protection of job safety and social and health assurances. The number of workers absorbed by the palm oil plantation sector and the palm oil industry’s contribution to the state coffer should becomes for the government in coming out with policies protecting oil palm plantation workers, it added.