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Demonstrations of the Job Creation Law is Harming Society

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By: Haikal Fathan Akbar )*

The Job Creation Law demonstrations carried out by students and workers were very detrimental to society. First, there was severe congestion due to the streets being packed with protesters. Second, the demo has the potential to end in chaos and can result in material losses.

The Job Creation Law was passed by the Indonesian Parliament on March 31, 2023. Unfortunately, this law was rejected by some workers and students. They considered that the other articles were detrimental, then staged demonstrations many times. Apart from the demonstration, the workers also threatened to go on strike. 

The workers and students will hold a demonstration on April 11, 2023 in front of the DPR RI building, and they will carry out a follow-up demonstration. Labor Party President Said Iqbal stated that he and all workers would demonstrate on April 4, 11 and 17, 2023. This action was also accompanied by a mass work strike. He also invited workers in 200 other cities to hold a similar action and demand the cancellation of this law.

Demonstrations and strikes carried out by workers make people suffer big losses. The reason was because of the demonstrations there were long traffic jams that disrupted the mobility of the people of Jakarta. Even though there was a diversion of traffic flow during the demonstration, the people still felt disadvantaged. 

The people feel at a loss because demonstrations like this also have the potential to trigger riots, because the masses who are already emotional can do many things to attract the attention of members of the DPR. For example by burning tires on the streets or throwing stones. Riots at demonstrations can also occur because there are provocateurs who take advantage of workers’ emotions, so they can act out of control.

Before demonstrating, workers should understand that the Job Creation Law was never designed to harm them. This law is even beneficial because workers and employees are entitled to an annual bonus, up to 8 times their salary. Even when they are forced to be laid off, they will receive a job loss guarantee from the government, in addition to severance pay.

Meanwhile, Remy Hastian, the demonstration coordinator, claimed to have gathered students from campuses in Greater Jakarta and Banten. Even predictions can reach thousands of people. Students are busy protesting against the employment policies in the Job Creation Law.

This protest action was even scorned and did not get sympathy from the community. The reason is because since the Job Creation Law was passed in 2020 (the first version of the Creator), which was later revised to become the 2023 version, there have always been demonstrations of rejection. Students who demonstrate are not supported because they always act anarchistically and are not purely defending democracy.

Students oppose the Job Creation Law because they are consumed by hoaxes spread by provocateurs. There are no articles in the Job Creation Law that are detrimental to workers. They still get their rights, such as salary according to the UMK, holiday rights, 12 days leave, maternity and maternity leave, and so on.

The community opposes demonstrations against students and workers because they feel that rather than demonstrating while jostling and sweating, isn’t it better to send several student representatives to hold hearings with the authorized officials? Precisely using violence will be ineffective and will cause a lot of loss and damage to public facilities, when the demonstration ends in a riot.

With peaceful communication, it can be explained what are the reasons for the approval of the Job Creation Law. This can also prevent the transmission of the Covid-19 virus from the thousands of students who are demonstrating. Currently, there are only a few corona patients, but the status is still a pandemic, so it’s better to anticipate it.

Students should be able to imitate representatives from several trade unions who held a meeting with Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD. Workers were asked for their opinion on this bill and Mahfud explained the important points of the new regulation. This is done to prevent misunderstandings that lead to large-scale demonstrations.

The Job Creation Law which abolished the article regarding limitations on employment contracts does not mean that they only have the status of contract employees for life. This was disclosed by the Minister of Manpower Ida Fauziah. According to him, if a company continues to contract employees, it will incur a lot of costs. Contract employees who perform well will be appointed as permanent employees.

In addition, the elimination of the UMK does not mean that workers are paid cheaply. Instead, it will be replaced with the provincial minimum wage, which will later be regulated by the Governor. The official is considered to have a better understanding of the needs of the community and can weigh up how much salary is appropriate for an employee. So don’t rush to get angry and hold a demonstration.

The demonstration against the Job Creation Law that will be carried out by workers and students is roundly rejected by the public. The reason was because the demonstrations disrupted traffic order and created traffic jams around the DPR RI building. The demonstrating students and workers also often carried out anarchic actions so that it was feared that damage would occur which would result in losses for the government.

)* The author is a Vimedia Pratama Institute Contributor

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