Jakarta, Oct. 8, (dpa/GNA) – Riot police fired tear gas at rock-throwing students in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province on Thursday as nationwide protests against new labour reforms entered a third day.
Parliament on Monday passed the « job creation » bill, which the government said was designed to attract investment and cut red tape for businesses. Critics say it will undermine workers’ rights. There have been protests ever since passage.
On Thursday, protesters gathering outside the provincial legislative assembly building in the city of Medan pelted riot police with rocks, prompting officers to fire tear gas, said local police spokesperson Tatan Dirsan Atmaja.
« Several of our personnel were injured, » he said.
Clashes between security personnel and students also erupted in the West Java city of Cirebon, Detik.com news portal reported.
Meanwhile, hundreds of students and workers gathered near the presidential palace in Jakarta to demand that the so-called omnibus law be annulled.
President Joko Widodo was on a working visit to Central Kalimantan province on Thursday to inspect a farming project.
At least six people were injured on Wednesday when police fired rubber bullets to disperse protesters in the industrial town of Cikarang near Jakarta.
Police also arrested more than 400 protesters on Wednesday, accusing them of taking advantage of the rallies to stir unrest.
The job creation law includes sweeping changes to dozens of pieces of existing legislation, including on labour, taxation and investment.
Labour unions say the bill would make it easier for employers to fire workers and pay lower severance. It would also facilitate outsourcing jobs and hiring employees on short-term contracts without staff benefits.
The law also relaxes a requirement for companies to produce an analysis on the environmental impact of their activities, raising ecological concerns.
Businesses said the previous labour law places too much burden on employers, making it a disincentive to investment.