Indonesia, North Maluku – Nickel factory workers riot

Indonesia, North Maluku: factory workers riot, burn several company facilities, demand major changes in work conditions and wage rises [ ]

“A number of employees of a company in Central Halmahera (Halteng), North Maluku, set fire to a number of company facilities during the commemoration of Labor Day or May Day. The action on Friday, May 1, 2020, took place inside the factory area…. thousands of employees asked management to reject the Cipta Karya Bill [ for outline of what this bill is, see this and this – ], reject termination of employment (FLE), fulfill maternity rights for women workers, and to lockdown companies during the corona virus pandemic by paying 100 percent of wages.  They also demanded the termination of employee quarantine  at the airport, the imposition of eight hours of work per day, stopping discrimination against local workers, stopping the criminalization of workers, and dismissing the head of HRD….The action then became a riot…. employees burned and damaged a number of facilities and vehicles inside the factory area. In addition, seven security officers suffered injuries due to stone throwing…Employees also looted the company canteen…police officers…arrested 11 employees suspected of being masterminds of the riots.” Video here –

Unions say they have nothing to do with it, blame it on anarchist elements –

“Police in Indonesia’s North Maluku province have arrested 8 people linked to a workers’ demonstration that turned violent at a nickel project run by France’s Eramet and China’s Tsingshan Holding Group, a police spokesman said on Sunday. A rally on May 1 demanding, among other things, a lockdown at the Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park (IWIP) during the coronavirus pandemic, turned violent with demonstrators destroying company property and looting food, North Maluku police spokesman Adib Rojikan said.  Eight people had been named suspects for their involvement in the violence and four others were being questioned, Rojikan said by telephone. The demands by workers included rejecting lay-offs and getting a full salary during the proposed lockdown, as well as blocking parliamentary deliberation in Jakarta of a bill that calls for a steep cut in severance compensation, said Rojikan. IWIP said in a statement that the two workers’ unions at the industrial park were not behind the rally and accused five unversity students of provoking some 800 workers to join the rally and conduct “anarchic action”.”

An account from Indonesian anarchists –

Google Translate:

“Chronology of the Mayday Action and the Declaration of the Halteng Labor Struggle Forum (FPBH)
By Palanghitam | Published: 05/04 2020

Friday, May 1 2020 5:00 WIT the worker goes to PT. IWIP.

At 5:30 CET, the mass of PT. IWIP from Central Vedas gathered at the company’s first portal.

Pkl 05:35 about twenty workers gathered and immediately moved to the point of action at the company intersection.

Pkl 8:01 IWIP workers from North Weda and East Weda gather together at the company intersection.

Pkl 08:15 WIT the action begins.

After the third orator (KORLAP) delivered his speech, the mass of action immediately broke through the gate and headed straight towards the gate of Tanjung Uli.

The oration lasted for some time at Men Gate Tanjung Uli. Some workers also gave speeches to express their complaints, including Uchen (the right worker on the 1st May came to PT. IWIP to sign the letter of dismissal). 09:00 WIT the workers broke into the gate because workers’ demands have not been fulfilled (rosalina sangadji as the head of the HRD must be open and hering open with workers). While inside the men gate, one of the security forces provoked a mass of action by throwing stones, the Akssipun mass was provoked and then a standardized throwing took place. The police had fired several warning shots into the air.

The mass of action returned to the front of the gate and set fire to the former stall that was right in front of the gate.

The police fired tear gas. The mass of action had scattered. Then returned and the police chief had tried to dialogue with workers. But because it did not find any bright spot, the action mass then changed the route of action and headed to the veronickel furnace section to boycott production activities. After that the mass of action took a briefing and agreed to go to the PLTU to turn off electricity to cripple production activities.

Workers in the veronickel division joined the mass of action and walked to the company’s power plant to turn off electricity.

Around 10:01 the PLTU turned off electricity
PT. IWIP is totally paralyzed.

The mass of action walked back to the intersection and returned to a briefing then agreed not to work (strike) until the demands were realized.

Around pkl. 13:10 WIT the mass of action finally disbanded with an agreement to strike and blockade the company’s entrance from the central and northern wedges.


1. Fail Omnibus Law!
2. Reject layoffs under the guise of pause at PT. IWIP!
3. Fulfill women’s labor rights!
4. Return the official permit for workers at PT. IWIP!
5. PT. IWIP must lock down the company during the COVID-19 pandemic, and pay 100% of the base wage!
6. Stop the labor quarantine at the airport of PT. IWIP!
7. Apply eight working hours at PT. IWIP!
8. Meet K3 for workers!
9. Stop discrimination against TKA workers and meet the welfare of TKA workers at PT. IWIP!
10. Stop issuing unilateral memos without prior negotiations with the workers!
11. Stop the criminalization of labor!


Weda, Friday 1 May 2020”