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Jakarta Cleans Up After Violent Anti-labor Law Protests

A labor demonstrator raises his fists in support of the protest against a controversial omnibus bill on job creation in Tangerang, Indonesia, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. Thousands of students and laborers protested on Wednesday against the new law they say cripples labor rights and harms the environment. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

A labor demonstrator raises his fists in support of the protest against a controversial omnibus bill on job creation in Tangerang, Indonesia, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. Thousands of students and laborers protested on Wednesday against the new law they say cripples labor rights and harms the environment. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Authorities in Indonesias capital on Saturday were cleaning up burnedout cars, government offices and bus shelters that were set ablaze by protesters enraged over a new law they say will cripple labor rights and harm the environment.

JAKARTA, Indonesia: Authorities in Indonesias capital on Saturday were cleaning up burned-out cars, government offices and bus shelters that were set ablaze by protesters enraged over a new law they say will cripple labor rights and harm the environment.

Protests in many Indonesian cities turned violent Thursday. At least 20 bus stops and other transit facilities were destroyed in Jakarta, causing 55 billion rupiah ($3.7 million) in damage, said Jakarta Gov. Anies Baswedan.

Calm has largely returned after the government warned protesters it won’t tolerate any further destruction and attacks on police and communities.

Labor organizers staged a three-day national strike Tuesday to demand the government revoke the legislation.

The Job Creation Law approved by Parliament on Monday is expected to substantially change Indonesias labor system and natural resources management. It amended 79 previous laws and was intended to improve bureaucratic efficiency as part of efforts by President Joko Widodos administration to attract more investment.

The demonstrators say the law will hurt workers by reducing severance pay, removing restrictions on manual labor by foreign workers, increasing the use of outsourcing, and converting monthly salaries to hourly wages.

Widodo told a televised news conference late Friday that the new law was meant to improve workers welfare.

What I see is the widespread protest against the Job Creation Law is basically driven by disinformation about the laws substance and social media hoaxes, Widodo said.

He also dismissed reports that workers wouldn’t be paid during their leave.

I assure you that this is untrue. Workers leave still remains and is guaranteed, Widodo said.

Widodo urged those who are dissatisfied with the new law to challenge it at the Constitutional Court and avoid protests.

Jakarta Police spokesman Yusri Yunus said police have arrested 1,192 protesters, half of them high school students who came from outside the city.

Most of them dont understand the substance of the new law, Yunus said, They have been provoked by invitation on social media to create a riot in Jakarta.

Indonesia, Southeast Asias largest economy, is eagerly courting foreign investors as key drivers of economic growth in a nation where nearly half the population of 270 million are younger than 30.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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