Hundreds Of Indonesian Nickel Miners Rally To Demand Safety


Hundreds of workers in Indonesia’s nickel sector protested peacefully on Wednesday, just three days after a fire killed 18, according to labour groups, and threatened to strike if their demands were not satisfied.

However, activities at the Morowali industrial park in the world’s largest ore producer have not been impacted, according to its spokesperson, Dedy Kurniawan, who added that business executives were in negotiations with workers’ representatives.

“The rally has no impact on operations because this is a peaceful demonstation,” he said.

According to Katsaing, the chairman of the workers’ union, Serikat Pekerja Indonesia Sejahtera (SPIS), who goes by one name like many Indonesians, some 300 workers attended the march on Wednesday.

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He declared, “Our main demand is for companies to comply with occupational health and safety law,” and threatened to go on strike if the demand was not fulfilled in three days.

70,000 people are employed by dozens of businesses in this industrial park, which covers more than 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) on the eastern island of Sulawesi and is mostly centred on nickel processing. In a fire at a nickel smelting furnace owned by Indonesia Tsingshan Stainless Steel, a division of China’s Tsingshan Holding Group, on Sunday, ten Indonesian and eight Chinese labourers lost their lives.

The smelter’s operations have been halted while police investigate the origin of the incident, according to Dedy, but other facilities in the park are operating regularly.Indonesia’s personnel ministry has promised to enhance workplace safety laws, according to deputy minister Afriansyah Noor.

Indonesia has prohibited the export of unprocessed nickel ore as part of its efforts to increase domestic smelting and processing, although the sector has seen several fatalities in recent years.

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