by Elisa Valenta
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and the House of Representatives have agreed to postpone discussion on the controversial omnibus bill on job creation. The move is meant to avoid workers' mass protest before the May Day amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jokowi says the delay will allow the government and the House to deliberate the substance of relevant clauses in the bill deeper.
"This will provide us with the opportunity to explore substantial issues within the bill and also to accommodate input from stakeholders," Jokowi says in a taped video announcement.
Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) president Said Iqbal appreciates the decision, saying it showed the government and the House were willing to listen to labor groups. However, the workers union had reconsidered their plan due to the Large-Scale Social Restriction (PSBB) in Jakarta.
"President Jokowi's decision is an opportunity for all of us, including workers, to maintain Indonesia's unity in the fight against COVID-19 and manage the strategy to prevent massive layoffs after the coronavirus pandemic," says Said in a statement.
Last year, the government proposed the bill to improve the investment climate in the country. The omnibus bills contain more than 1,000 proposed amendments to at least 79 existing laws. Among other points, labor-intensive industries will not have to adhere to regional minimum wages, and the governors of respective provinces will use different formulas in their calculations.