Labor Party Declaration, A vehicle for laborers’ welfare

3
Labor Party Declaration, A vehicle for laborers’ welfare
President of the Labor Party Said Iqbal. (NET)

IO – A reborn Labor Party was proclaimed on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. Its President, Said Iqbal said the Party has gained support from 11 organizational movements. “Some of them are farmers’ movement, fishermen movement, labor movement, teachers’ movement, Indonesian women’s movement, along with other social movements,” he said at the Labor Party Congress in Jakarta, Tuesday (10/5/2021).

Iqbal believes that this alliance distinguishes the current Labor Party from the former, which was only supported by one confederation of trade unions: the Indonesian Prosperous Labor Union (Serikat Buruh Sejahtera
Indonesia, or SBSI).

He has high hopes that the new Labor Party will pass the KPU verifcation as well as the parliamentary threshold. Those two achievements, Iqbal said, will be the manifestation of the Labor Party’s resurrection.

The establishment of the Labor Party was welcomed by many political parties. The Deputy Speaker of the House, who is also the Daily Chairman of the Gerindra Party DPP, Sufmi Dasco Ahmad, shared the same sentiment.

Dasco believes that the Labor Party could become an effective forum that can grasp laborers’ demands if it is run optimally. “So the party can fight for the workers’ aspirations, starting from conveying their aspirations to creating or revising the law,” he said.

In the path of democracy, eventually, the people will determine whether
or not the Party can secure a place in the Parliament. That is why the Labor
Party needs to seriously consider how to embrace the people’s hearts, said
Dasco.

Meanwhile, Head of the Strategic Communications Agency for the
Democratic Party DPP, Herzaky Mahendra Putra, reckoned that
the re-founding of the Labor Party signifes the freedom of union and
assembly that is protected by the Constitution. “Forming a political party is one of the manifestations of these rights,” he said.

He added that the formation of the Labor Party also demonstrates
the increasing number of political parties in Indonesia, which means
that more political organizations will fght for the people. Therefore, the Democratic Party will not scrutinize the re-emergence of the Labor Party which was declared by a number of trade unions. However, his Party expects that “the Labor Party can be sincerely consistent in fighting for the fate of the people, especially the laborers,” said Herzaky.

Ujang Komarudin, a political observer from Al Azhar Indonesia University, expressed a similar view. He considered it normal for the Labor Labor Party Declaration A vehicle for laborers’ welfare President of the Labor Party Said Iqbal Party to return with support from numerous labor unions. “It’s only natural that the Labor Party has been reborn, because until now there is no single party that really fights for the welfare of laborers,” said Ujang.

He cited as an example the Job Creation Law, which was strongly opposed for its apparent lack of concern towards laborers, yet it was still ratifed by the House of Representatives. “That’s why they want to re-declare the Labor Party as a means for their pursuit,” said Ujang. He argued that the Labor Party can be an alternative vehicle that laborers will vote for in the upcoming 2024 General Election. Bear in mind that labor groups in Indonesia consist of numerous smaller groups ranging from factory workers, honorarium-paid teachers, farmers and fishermen, among others.

Yet, Ujang added, those groups have been scattered for quite some time and have not really decided on their party of choice. Therefore, one of the Labor Party’s challenges to become a formidable force is how to unite the voices of workers who have been affliated with different parties and channel them to the Labor Party, so the Party can compete in the General Election. “So the key is to unite the laborers so they can support the Labor Party, which will be revived by Said Iqbal and his colleagues,” he concluded.