Indonesia arrests over 20 protesting against new jobs law

A demonstrator clashes with a barricade of police officers during a protest in Bandung, Indonesia, on Oct 6. - Antara/Reuters

JAKARTA (Reuters): Indonesian police arrested 23 protesters in two industrial areas of Java island, using tear gas and water cannon as thousands across the country demonstrated against a new jobs law that critics say weakens worker rights and environmental regulation.

Edy Sumardi, a police spokesman in Banten on Java island, said on Wednesday (Oct 7) that 14 demonstrators had been arrested in the province west of Jakarta during protests on Tuesday that continued into the evening.

Another police spokesman, Erdi Adrimulan Chaniago, said a further nine had been arrested in the city of Bandung, West Java. He said the authorities would monitor factories and university campuses in case of further demonstrations.

The sweeping new legislation, passed into law by Parliament on Monday, has been championed by the government of President Joko Widodo as key to boosting the competitiveness of South-east Asia's largest economy, hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, by cutting red tape and attracting foreign investment.

But amid a social media outcry, critics say the legislation, which revises more than 70 existing laws and regulations, comes at the expense of weakened labour protection and relaxed environmental rules.

The earlier-than-expected passage of the Bill, at a time when police had restricted demonstrations in the capital Jakarta on public health grounds, has also raised concern among academics and activists of a lack of consultation.

Tuesday's largely peaceful street protests in more than six Indonesian cities were accompanied by a backlash on social media, with Indonesians criticising the law using expletive hashtags that went viral.

An online petition calling for the law to be repealed has garnered more than 1.3 million signatures.

On Wednesday, the Confederation of Indonesian Workers Unions said in a statement it would continue a planned three-day strike after claiming hundreds of thousands had left their factories on Tuesday.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Indonesia , jobs law , arrest


Did you find this article insightful?


Next In Aseanplus News

Over 200 flood victims in Laos to have new homes in April
Singapore developer seeks trading suspension over Myanmar project
Asean economic revival tops agenda at Brunei retreat
China CDC expert proposes lifting of travel restrictions with US
Philippines signs pact with India for world's fastest supersonic missiles
Cambodia receives first batch of AstraZeneca vaccine
Row over who represents coup-hit Myanmar at UN
Vietnam plans to turn Kien Giang into sea-based economic powerhouse by 2025
Myanmar's ousted president faces two new charges: lawyer
Japanese theatre offers 'peephole viewing' experience

Stories You'll Enjoy