Indonesian union organises bicycle protest vs. Omnibus bill

Going the extra mile to defend workers’ rights.

This is what SERBUK, BWI’s trade union affiliate in Indonesia, had in mind when it organised a “bicycle protest” against the government’s Omnibus Bill which seeks to cut workers’ wages and make work less secure and safe. 

Traveling 551 km across the island of Java, from Yogyakarta to Jakarta, the trade unionists called on the government to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic instead of passing the bill. 

“We are calling on President Joko Widodo to cancel this bill and focus on responding properly to the COVID-19 pandemic which has a tremendous impact on the health and welfare of the Indonesian working class,” SERBUK General Secretary Khamid Istakhori said.

The 1000-page bill was proposed by the government in response to an economic slump in 2019 that saw foreign direct investment decline. SERBUK said that will impact negatively on workers’ rights due to proposals to reduce environmental protections and ease investment provisions.

“The Omnibus Bill is a wish list for foreign investors who wish to drain our country of its vast resources at a bargain price. It’s therefore critical for unions and other organisations to join hands to oppose this proposed law,” Istakhori concluded.