Unions Challenge Indonesia’s Oil and Gas Law in Constitutional Court
Markus Junianto Sihaloho
Two labor unions on Friday filed a demand for a judicial review of the 2001 Law on Oil and Gas to the Constitutional Court, arguing that the law gave rise to legal uncertainty, and that the country’s resources were being misused.
The action was filed by the United Pertamina Workers’ Union (FSPPB) and the Confederation of Indonesian Oil and Gas Labor Unions (KSPMI) through their legal counsel, the Indonesian Human Rights Committee for Social Justice (IHCS.)
IHCS executive chief Gunawan said five chapters of the law were running against chapter 33 of the 1945 Constitution because the country’s oil and gas potentials were not used for the prosperity of the people.
“We feel that oil and gas, as a natural resource in the Indonesian soil, is no longer the sole property of the Indonesian nation, and this will reduce the rights of the people to enjoy welfare and prosperity from those natural resources,” Gunawan said.
He specifically pointed to the change in the status of the state oil and gas company Pertamina from a state enterprise into a limited liability company (Persero), opening the way for it privatization.
“This [means] the state will not have a tool or a state company to control its oil and gas resources, and the important fuel production sector, which affects the livelihood of many,” he said.
Gunawan also said that the Law on Oil and Gas had also damaged the national Liquid Natural Gas industry by creating a competitive system that will stymie Indonesia as a producing country.
“We hope that the Constitutional Court accepts the challenge, so that it will push for the revocation of the Law on Oil and Gas to create sovereignty in energy,” Gunawan said.