Chinese and Indonesian Workers Clash at Indonesian Nickel Plant – by Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat (The Diplomat – January 17, 2023)

The violence, which resulted in the deaths of two workers, is likely to inflame anti-Chinese sentiment in the country.

Two workers were killed in clashes and rioting at an Indonesian nickel processing plant over the weekend, officials said yesterday. The demonstrations at the PT Gunbuster Nickel Industry (GNI) in Morowali, Central Sulawesi, ended in clashes between groups of Indonesian workers and foreign workers from China, leading to the deaths of two people, a Chinese and an Indonesian.

On Saturday, workers belonging to the National Workers’ Union (SPN) held a meeting with the company. During the meeting, the mass of SPN workers presented eight demands to the company, but no agreement was reached between the two parties at the meeting.

These demands included the implementation of Occupational Security and Safety (K3) procedures, the provision of personal protective equipment to workers, a halt to wage deductions, and the rehiring of SPN members who were terminated because they had gone on strike.

There have recently there have been various work-related incidents at the Morowali smelter, some of which caused deaths and injuries to workers. Established in 2019, GNI was inaugurated by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in December 2021. The company belongs to the Chinese steel giant, Jiangsu Delong Nickel Industry Co. Ltd., which also carries out

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