Labor unions to challenge Indonesian jobs law at Constitutional Court

A National Committee on Agrarian Reform activist installs dozens of scarecrows in front of the House of Representatives in Senayan, Jakarta, on Sept. 24. - JP/ANN

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN): A number of the country’s labour unions plan to challenge the recently passed Job Creation Law through a petition for judicial review with the Constitutional Court.

The National Federation of Trade Unions (KSPN) said a special team had been deployed to scrutinise the 905-page law to single out provisions that contradicted the Constitution or infringed on workers’ rights.

“Our team is studying the law to file the judicial review petition, ” KSPN president Ristadi told on Tuesday (Oct 6), adding that provisions regarding temporary and outsourced workers were among the most problematic parts of the law.

The law revised Article 66 of the 2003 Manpower Law, which guaranteed a specific period of hire for temporary or outsourced workers, by adding the term “indefinite work agreement”, which appears to contradict a Constitutional Court ruling that companies must have transition schemes to protect workers.

The court’s rulings are final and binding. All-Indonesia Workers Union Confederation (KSPSI) president Andi Gani Nena Wea said the organisation would soon submit a petition for judicial review with support from other parties.

He said many lawyers had expressed their willingness to assist workers in the legal processes that accompanied the fight against the contentious law.

“The KSPSI, as the largest workers’ confederation in the country, will file a [petition for] judicial review with the Constitutional Court [...]. A lot of advocates are willing to fight with us in court, ” Andi said, as quoted by

The Job Creation Law, which the government claimed would improve bureaucratic efficiency and cut red tape binding business permits and investment, has received significant opposition from labor unions and members of the public who see it as a threat to social justice and environmental sustainability.

In addition to being detrimental to workers, critics argued, the law would be harmful to the environment as it made the environmental licensing requirements for businesses less rigorous.

The law requires only businesses that have “important effects on the environment” to conduct environmental impact analyses (Amdal). Under the law, the government is allowed to manage forest areas without a minimum limit.

The Agrarian Reform Consortium (KPA) said it would join the fight at the Constitutional Court. KPA secretary general Dewi Kartika argued that the House of Representatives, whose legislators passed the law on Monday, had ignored the Constitution and the 1960 Basic Agrarian Law for the sake of large-scale investment.

“The KPA will challenge the law at the Constitutional Court, ” Dewi told - The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

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Indonesia , jobs law , constitutional court


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