• Riots force Indonesia unions to call off strike over labour laws

    Indonesian trade unions have called off their three-day strike against new labour laws after thousands of protesters against new labour laws set fire to police posts and barricades in Jakarta [et dans d’autres villes, ndc] .

    As Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan toured the damage on Friday, the union leadership said they would consider their next steps to convince President Joko Widodo, or Jokowi as he is known, to block the implementation of the omnibus law or ­remove provisions that slash protections for workers.

    “Further actions that we can take include going through legal channels to withdraw the ­approval of the law, continuing mass movement calling for the law’s cancellation, and conducting national and international campaigns to reject the law,” Said Iqbal, the confederation’s chairman, said.

    Jokowi was scheduled to meet Vice-President Maruf Amin on Friday after he was criticised for being away from the capital as tensions increased.

    Mr Baswedan promised that all razed and damaged public facilities — including 20 bus stations — would be fixed in a day.

    “We respect the people’s right to express their opinion. The Jakarta city administration will ensure that our systems and services will be usable today,” he said.

    Tens of thousands of people have protested in cities across the archipelago since Monday’s passing of the bill, which seeks to ­attract foreign investment by cutting red tape around taxation, ­labour and environment regulations. Trade unions have distanced themselves from the violent protests as police employed teargas and water cannons to disperse crowds of workers and university and high school students.

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