JAKARTA — Indonesia moved a step closer to passing President Joko Widodo’s contentious “Job Creation” bill after parliament’s legislation committee and government ministers on Saturday approved the latest version for a vote next week.
The move came despite trade unions threatening to stage a national strike by 5 million workers on Oct. 6 to 8 to protest the proposed labor reforms.
The so-called “omnibus” bill, aimed at revising over 70 existing laws in a single vote, is the president’s flagship measure to speed up the pace of economic reform and improve the country’s investment climate.
Global investors have been watching closely to see if the bill gets watered down in parliamentary debates, as Southeast Asia’s largest economy tries to compete for manufacturing investment relocating from China.
In a hearing late on Saturday, representatives from seven out of nine factions in the legislation committee approved the bill to be brought to a parliamentary vote, while two factions rejected.
Government ministers led by chief economic minister Airlangga Hartarto also approved the final version of the bill, which contained some changes to the government’s original proposal, such as a different scheme for a cut in mandatory severance benefits.