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Jakarta Post

Chinese firm to hire 5,000 locals amid backlash

  • Norman Harsono and Andi Hajramurni

    Jakarta/Makassar, South Sulawesi

Jakarta/Makassar, South Sulawesi   /   Mon, July 13 2020   /  01:00 am
Southeast Sulawesi Regional Legislative Council (DPRD) member Sudirman (center) gives out statement during a protest against the arrival of Chinese workers near Haluoleo Kendari Airport in South Konawe Regency, Southeast Sulawesi, on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.(kompas.com/Kiki Andi Pati)

Chinese-backed mining company PT Virtue Dragon Nickel Industry (VDNI) has promised to hire 5,000 locals amid protests over the employment of 500 Chinese workers for nickel smelter projects in Konawe regency, Southeast Sulawesi. VDNI signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the matter with the Konawe administration on Wednesday. The company agreed to absorb the workforce while the administration agreed to headhunt workers, who will start working once the smelter installation was finished. “We are committed to employing local workers. But recruitment will be done in stages, as needed,” VDNI spokesman Indrayanto told The Jakarta Post from nickel-rich Southeast Sulawesi on Thursday. He said the company would hire 2,500 local workers in the first phase. These workers would become smelter operators, which were priority positions that VDNI needed filled. Indr...