The Straits Times
Published on Oct 08, 2012

Indonesian minister to get tough on mining firms over worker layoffs


JAKARTA - Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik said that the government would take "tough measures" against mining companies that have sacked their workers to reduce costs without prior discussion with the government, local media reported on Monday.

Citing his experience in running the ministry for a year, Mr Jero said that mining companies had a tendency to exploit layoffs as a way to threaten the government and gain public understanding whenever they faced problems.

"At the end of the day, the central government will be the one to blame whenever they (the firms) shed their workers," he said on Sunday, China's official Xinhua news agency quoted Indonesian media as reporting.

He made the remarks in response to recent announcements of two mining firms, PT Agincourt Resources and PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara (NNT), which declared separately that they would be downsizing their workforces as part of their ongoing cost-cutting measures.