Online Discussion: Chinese Investments and Labor Struggles in Indonesia

Indonesia is a central partner of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. In recent years, more than 1,000 Chinese state-owned and private companies have invested in Indonesia. A central aim of China’s investment strategy is securing the supply of raw materials and primary products for its manufacturing sector. One example is the IMIP (Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park) in Central Sulawesi where Chinese and Indonesia capital employ tens of thousands of workers from China and Indonesia in the processing of nickel ore and the production of steel products.

At the beginning of this online event, Alfian Al-Ayubby speaks about the situation in the IMIP production facilities: How is the composition of the labor force? How is the work divided? What are the working conditions like? Then Y. Wasi Gede Puraka talks about the workers’ reactions: How do workers deal with the conditions? How do they organize? What happens during their strikes? The subsequent discussion will also address Chinese investments in other parts of Indonesia and conflicts between Chinese and local capital factions.

Date: Saturday, May 15, 2021
Time: 8 a.m. EDT/U.S. 2 p.m. CET/Europe – 7 p.m. WIB/Ind. – 8 p.m. CST/China
Topic: Chinese Investments and Labor Struggles in Indonesia
Speakers: Alfian Al-Ayubby + Y. Wasi Gede Puraka
Moderators: Alina Kornfeldt + Ralf Ruckus

[Please, register soon to get the approval-email in time, and make sure to do it some time before the start of the event!]

The speakers:
Alfian AL-AYUBBY has been a researcher at Sedane Labour Resource Center (LIPS) since 2014. He has done extensive research on labor conditions in Morowali and in other parts of Indonesia.
Y. Wasi Gede PURAKA is researcher and director of the Research Centre for Crisis and Alternative Development Strategies (INKRISPENA). He has done research on workers organizing in various sectors, including in Indonesia’s free trade zones, and on corporate human rights violations.

Reading list for the event’s Q&A:
Nickel mining resisted in Indonesia (China Dialogue)
Equipment torched as worker protest paralyses Indonesia nickel plant (Reuters)
The dark side of electric vehicle battery components and their social and ecological impacts in Indonesia (RLS)
The Complicated Politics of Chinese Workers in Indonesia (The Diplomat)

Sponsors: This event is co-sponsored by gongchao.org, Made in China Journal, positions politics, and Critical China Scholars. The foundation Stiftung Menschenwürde und Arbeitswelt (Berlin, Germany) provided financial support for the technical platform.

For other events, please, see the “China and the Left”-series page.