UGM Lecturer Attributes Foreign Workers Influx to Job Creation Law



Mahinda Arkyasa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaGajah Mada University lecturer on welfare and social development Hempri Suyatna, shared his views about the arrival of foreign workers (TKA) amidst the country's challenging economic situation and mass-exodus (mudik) ban. 

    Reports from immigration show that 157 foreign workers from China arrived in Indonesia on May 8, 2021, and another 110 workers on May 13, 2021. Hempri argued that such conditions was the result of the implementation of the widely-challenged Job Creation Law (UU Cipta Kerja).

    "This is the effect of the implementation of the UU Cipta Kerja in the workforce cluster. The Law's clause overseeing foreign workers state that they do not have to wait for an official written permit from the Manpower Ministry," Hempri wrote on May 18, 2021, as posted on UGM's website. "The companies who hire the TKAs only need to report the plan of the workers' arrivals."

    There are also numerous investment projects that justify the need for these international workers, which is the arbitrary right of the companies employing the TKAs. 

    However, he believed that the Indonesian government should be more sensitive towards the country's situation regarding employments and recommends the government to side with domestic workers, especially after many jobs were lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the currently stagnant wages for domestic workers. 

    "I might argue that in this context, the government should be more open and transparent, such as providing a reason why the Chinese workers must be employed. If [the government] is sensitive towards this issue and has a sense of alignment, they should prioritize local workers," he said.