Media Release: May Day, Trade Union in the Electricity Sector Refuse Privatisation

The trade union in the electricity sector that consist of The Trade Union of PT PLN (Persero) or SP PLN, The Workers’ Association of Indonesia Power (PPIP), The Trade Union of Java-Bali Electricity Generator (SP PJB), The Electronic Electric Trade Union (SPEE FSPMI), and the Federation of Indonesian’s People (Serbuk) will use the momentum of International Labor’s Day (May Day) that happened on May 1st to voice the fight to the electricity privatization. The fight to the privatization is conducted, considering the content of the Job Creation Law that opening the room for the electricity sector to be managed by private sector.

Previously, the trade union in the electricity sector has filed the Judicial Review of Job Creation Act to the Constitutional Court, both formal and material. Conveyed by the Chairperson of SP PLN M Abrar Ali, based on the Constitutional Court decision in 2004 and 2016 on the Law on Electricity, the electricity is one important production line for the state and holding people’s life needs. Therefore, as also emphasized in the state constitution article 33 paragraph (2), electricity should be controlled by the state.

“The changes in the Law on the electricity on article 42 of the Job Creation Law disregarded the Constitutional Court decision in the Judicial Review of article 10 paragraph (2) about the unbundling and article 11 paragraph (1) about the Privatization and Liberalization of Electricity Sector” stated Abrar.

More than that, the Job Creation Law has also omitting the House of Representative (DPR) role in the creation of General Plan on the National Electricity (RUKN), expanding private sector role. Even allowing private sector to rent an electricity network or system, thus it will create a coordination problem when a disturbance on the electricity network or system.

“The application or enactment of the Job Creation Law will potentially burden the state to provide subsidy, and if the subsidy burden can’t be borne by the National State Budget (APBN), it will potentially be increasing the electricity price for the people. To avoid that to be happening, the electricity sector should be controlled by the state from the upstream to the downstream” he stressed the statement.

The General Chairperson of PPIP Dwi Hantoro added, that the implementing regulation of the Job Creation Law, i.e. Government Regulation (PP) Number 25 Year 2021 on the Management of the Energy and Mineral Resources also potentially harm the people. Besides issuing zombie article, also omitting President’s authority and state control.

“In the Article 26 Paragraph (2) PP Number 25 Year 2021 stated that the electricity supply for the public interest can be done in an integrated manner. Even though the similar provision in the Law Number 30 Year 2009, by the Constitutional Court has been declared has no legal binding should this be interpreted as the justification of the unbundling practices in the business of electricity supply for the public interest so as will eliminate state control corresponding to the controlled by the state principles” stated Dwi Hantoro.

“Trade union has mandate to ensure that the electricity should be managed by the state, cheap, affordable and sustainable. Therefore, in the Labor Day momentum, we demand that the privatization and all form of outsourcing should be eliminated” he stated further.

Separately, the General Chairperson of SP PJB Agus Wibawa stated that electricity is part of defense and sovereignty of the nation. Moreover, in the industrial revolution of 4.0, almost all aspect of life can’t be separated from electricity and can be controlled digitally from one command cente. “If the management of the electricity including the digitalization fall upon the private sector, the stake is our nation’s sovereignty” stated Mr. Wibawa.   

Unfortunately, continued Agus, in the Job Creation Law, the general plan on electricity doesn’t need to be consulted to the house of representative but it can be determined by the central government. Whereas the House of Representative is higher than the people. Ironically, in the government regulation Number 25 Year 2021, the provision is being reduced, the plan can be determined by ministerial decree. Meanwhile what means by the central government is Indonesian Republic President who held the power in Indonesian’s Administration assisted by the Vice President and the minister.   

Not only related to the electricity sector, but the trade union also highlighted the manpower cluster. Some problems among others are the use of expatriate, the elimination of sectoral minimum wages and the condition applied for municipality minimum wage, the free use of outsourcing workers for all type of work (including for the core business), more flexible contract work, reduction in the severance, and it is easy for the employer to terminate worker.  

Related to the manpower cluster, the Chairperson of SERBUK Indonesia Usman Sopiyan said that the new law will be resulted in workers vulnerability for losing their job, due to the flexible work contract and easier to be terminated.

“Even before the passing of the Job Creation Law, the outsourcing practices has been worrisome, though actually the law has put a boundary on the type of work where outsourcing allowed for only five type of work. So, it is almost certain that in the future about ninety percent workers will be outsourcing workers, who don’t have any pension plan and vulnerable to be terminated” Mr. Sopiyan explained more.

“The Job Creation Law is only good in the name, but the content is more harmful than provide any benefit. Currently the Indonesian employment facing the worst phase throughout Indonesian’s history, state’s protection to workers is diminished gradually. It’s also true with state sovereignty, the control from private sector in the electricity sector is a form of state weaknesses to protect energy and nation sovereignty, this is why Job Creation Law should be cancelled.” emphasized H Abdul Bais, the General Chairperson for SPEE FSPMI.

Jakarta, 30 April 2021

Contact person

  1. Muhammad Abrar Ali, General Chairperson DPP SP PLN Persero (HP: 0811-6562-973)
  2. Dwi Hantoro, General Chairperson PP Indonesia Power (HP: 0812-8643-9018)
  3. Agus Wibawa, General Chairperson SP PJB (HP: 0896 8750 0690)
  4. Abdul Bais, General Chairperson SPEE-FSPMI (HP: 0813 16414398)
  5. Usman Sopiyan, General Chairperson Serbuk (HP: 0813 1094 2258)

Media Release in bahasa Indonesia,

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