No fewer than 6000 protesters calling for the repeal of new jobs law said to be controversial have reportedly been arrested by security operatives in Indonesia.
Hundreds of workers riding motorbikes and waving flags held a rally in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Monday, as protests calling on President Joko Widodo to repeal the law entered a second week.
Designed to boost investment and cut red tape, the so-called omnibus law has sparked widespread outcry, with protesters saying the law undermines labour rights and weakens environmental protections.
Demonstrations erupted in industrial areas and cities across the archipelago last week after the bill’s passage was greeted with outrage which led to chaotic scenes in some areas, public property torched.
Also on Monday, union official estimated about 1,000 workers gathered in central Jakarta for another protest against the law which had earlier been defended by Widodo who urged critics to challenge the law in courts instead of demonstrations.
Market stakeholders and the business community greeted the new law, which revises more than 70 existing laws and regulations, with cautious optimism, but critics say the changes were rushed through and undermine existing labour laws, including on severance pay and work hours.