Fatalities in a Chinese-owned nickel smelting company in Indonesia have triggered hundreds of workers to strike to demand justice. The strike happened after failed negotiations between the union and the company.

The article details the tragic loss at Gunbuster Nickel Industry in Sulawesi, where workers were killed in an explosion caused by an unlocked valve at the Chinese-owned nickel smelter. The workers and union bargained for better labor protection, but negotiations broke down and led to violent clashes resulting in more deaths. Security personnel were deployed by the Indonesian government, and arrested 71 individuals. According to the report of Vice World News, Indonesian officials blame the protest actions on “provocateurs” while workers expressed frustration over the company’s disregarded for workplace safety and labour rights of the miners. 

The company employs 11,000 locals and mines nickel for batteries that power the world’s growing fleet of electric vehicles. GNI’s website indicate that its nickel smelting project has 25 lines of production with an annual production capacity of 1.9 million Nickel Pig Iron (NPI).

This in-depth report by Rachel Cheung sheds light on the disturbing reality of inadequate working conditions, anti-union tactics, lack of regulation and violence in Indonesia’s nickel mining industry. The article is published on Vice World News and can be found here: https://www.vice.com/en/article/3ad3n8/china-nickel-smelting-factory-indonesia-gunbuster-belt-and-road