Thousands Demonstrate in Indonesia Against Labor Reform

Indonesian Government’s Labor Reform Faces Significant Opposition

On January 14th, 2023, Indonesian protesters called for the Parliament to review and reject the labor reform proposed in December by the Government of Joko Widodo. Said Iqbal, president of Labour Party, said that the reform, known as the “omnibus law”, will seriously hinder labor rights stated by the Indonesian portal Detik.

The reform seeks to simplify procedures in some 70 laws concerning minimum wage, working hours and insurance to facilitate investment and recruitment.. However, unions and Labour Party strongly oppose the reform citing that it reduces labor rights and facilitates subcontracting with unfavorable working conditions.

The Government’s effort is not new. Protests against the reform in 2020 lead to clashes between the protesters and police in Jakarta, with the Constitutional Court ordering the review of some of the protests. With a new version of the reform presented, fear remains among unions and other social organizations that workers will lose their rights.

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