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April 22, 2010

Workers riot at Indonesian shipyard

Indonesia's Ministry of Manpower is sending a fact-finding team to PT Drydock World Graha, Batam following rioting at the shipyard on Thursday.

The Antara news agency quotes a police official as saying the rioting "was triggered by an Indian citizen worker known by his initial as VJ who had scolded a local worker using harsh words to make the latter offended. On solidarity thousands of local workers in the company got angry over the incident."

According to various reports the local workers expressed that anger by torching four cars, vandalizing 30 others and starting fires in several offices. One report says a storage warehouse was destroyed.

Four indian workers were injured, one critically, and 41 were evacuated by patrol boat to the local police station for their protection.

"We expressed deep regret over the incident which was caused by mis-communication between a foreign worker and a local worker in Batam. I hope it will be a lesson for us all especially companies employing foreign workers," said Manpower Minister Muhaimin Iskandar. He said he hoped all foreigners working in Indonesia would learn local customs and good ways of communicating with local workers to avoid a recurrence of the incident.

No local workers have been arrested in connection with the incident.

"Noone is arrested because it is a spontaneous incident. No provocateur is found," Antara quotes a police official as saying.


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