Tue, 29 Jul 2003

Workers protest factory's closure

TANGERANG: Hundreds of workers from aluminum melting factory PT Teguh Makmur Sentosa in Benda district rallied at the mayoralty office on Monday, demanding that the administration cancel plans to close the factory for damaging the environment.

"The planned closure has been engineered by certain people," Suparman, one of the workers, told reporters.

Suparman said local residents were paid between Rp 20,000 (US$2.30) and Rp 50,000 to take part in a demonstration against the factory.

In response to the complaints of residents, Tangerang Mayor M. Thamrin ordered the factory closed in February for polluting the water and air.

The mayor gave the company six months to move the factory to a more suitable location. However, since the factory has continued to operate, the mayor ordered public orders officers to forcibly close it down. -- JP