Appeal by Indonesian trade unions and ETUC for new round of CEPA Indonesia negotiations

03/12/2023 - This week there is a new round of trade negotiations taking place between the European Commission and the Indonesian government on concluding a trade deal. Negotiations have been going on since 2016, coming week the 16th round is taking place in Brussels. While both parties are eager to conclude the negotiations as both Indonesia as well as the EU are having elections in 2024, there are still many sensitive topics to discuss. Today the European Trade Union Confederation is releasing a joint statement with Indonesian unions, to remind the European Commission of their concerns, and urging them to put these on the table during the negotiations.

One of these topics concern the omnibus law, particularly the job creation law, which was adopted by the Indonesian parliament this spring. The new law has been controversial from its first introduction in 2020, as it diminishes the role of trade unions in for instance minimum wage setting and due to the increased market flexibility, workers are less likely to be granted a permanent contract and thus to also be able to join a union. Whether the law is actually in line with ILO conventions on Freedom of Association, is questionable and therefore Indonesia is currently under review by the ILO Committee of the Application of Standards (CAS).