indonesian workers protest after deadly blast at nickel plant; details inside
Hundreds of Indonesian workers are demonstrating against working conditions at Nickel Plant after the death of 18 workers. The chairman of the Serikat Pekerja Indonesia Sejahtera (SPIS) workers’ union, Katsaing, has expressed grief over the death of the workers.
On Wednesday, hundreds of Indonesian workers demonstrated against a Chinese-funded nickel-processing company. Hundreds of workers were seen protesting outside the facility in Sulawesi, an island in Indonesia.
What happened in the China-funded nickel plant?
On Sunday, an explosion at a nickel processing plant in eastern Indonesia killed at least 13 people. The tragic accident also injured 38 people. Among the dead were eight Indonesian workers and five Chinese workers. Around 31 people are still being treated in hospital for their injuries after the blast.
According to a report by The Guardian, the accident took place at the facility, which is owned by Indonesia Tsingshan Stainless Steel in the Morowali Industrial Park, an industrial park hosting primarily nickel-related industries in Morowali Regency, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Around 38 people also suffered “minor and serious injuries.” The incident took place during repair work on a furnace when a flammable liquid ignited and caused a blast.
Indonesian workers protest at nickel plant
The Indonesian workers protest took place at a nickel plant on Wednesday. They demanded strict action and an increase in their wages.
China’s involvement in nickel production fueled anger among workers over wages and working conditions. The workers gave a list of 23 demands to management. They asked authorities to maintain smelters, improve health clinics and ensure safety at the workplace.
The workers chanted, “No production is worth a life!”
Dedy Kurniawan, a spokesperson for Morowali Industrial Park, said, “We hope this demonstration will not continue after they hear our explanation.”
ITSS had given the family compensation worth 600 million rupiah ($30,625) to a worker after the tragic accident killed him.
Earlier this year, two workers, including a Chinese national, were killed at a nickel smelting plant. Later on, a riot broke out over safety conditions and pay.
Two workers were also killed in clashes and rioting at the plant. The protest ended in clashes between groups of Indonesian workers and Chinese workers.