Batam Dock Firm Acts to Calm Waters

by Cameron Bates

The international company at the cente..." /> Batam Dock Firm Acts to Calm Waters

by Cameron Bates

The international company at the cente...">
Batam Dock Firm Acts to Calm Waters

by Cameron Bates

The international company at the center of a workers’ riot in Batam last month says it will undertake steps to avoid similar violence, including hosting a “friendship evening” and organizing talks on “intercultural awareness.”

On April 23, a PT Drydocks World Graha manager of Indian ethnicity allegedly called all Indonesians “stupid,” sparking a frenzy of vandalism and attacks by thousands of Indonesian subcontractors. Four Indian staff were injured, including one seriously.

Disparities in pay were also said to have played a part in exacerbating the conflict.

Drydocks World Graha directly employs 1,919 workers in Batam, while 16,000 more are employed by subcontractors at lower wages.

Denis Welch, Drydocks World South East Asia chief executive, released a statement on Thursday that was notable for its lack of an apology for the slur, nor did it address allegations by the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration that the company was riddled with problems.

Graha had previously rejected the allegations.

Welch said the worldwide coverage in the media had been damaging to the Dubai-owned company’s reputation and that “of the industry in Batam in general.”

Saying there were “no winners in these circumstance,” he said there were lessons to be learned.

“It is encouraging to report that the effort to understand and address the issues has involved the full spectrum of interested parties, all of whom are determined to put the event behind us, repair the damage, and move on stronger from the unfortunate experience.”

Welch said constructive discussions had been held with all related parties, as well as the Ministry of Industry, the police and military and the Indian High Commission.

“We are all committed to ensuring that the disruption is not repeated and to reassure our employees, customers, suppliers, and the full cross section of individuals involved in our industry, regardless of race or nationality, that they are safe and welcome in our shipyards.”

Welch said they had taken several initiatives to address the “possible causes of the disturbance, including a friendship evening and “talks on intercultural awareness and communications skills to be attended by our management and supervisors.”

Graha would also modify it new employee induction program to include a section on cultural awareness and review workplace security.

Other steps included increasing awareness of the company’s grievance procedure and reviewing “subcontractor appointment procedures to ensure that payments to their work force are made promptly and that there are no unfair deductions.”

Welch said it would be a challenge to get Graha running at full capacity and recover the time lost on high-value and high-profile contracts.

“It would be dishonest of me to suggest that the events have not had a serious impact on our efforts to win new business, but the positive news is that we have a strong order book and even at the height of the problems we have secured further high-tech work from an existing customer,” Welch said.
<span style="font-size: 14pt"><span style="font-weight: bold">Batam Dock Firm Acts to Calm Waters</span></span><br /> <br /> by Cameron Bates<br /> <br /> The international company at the center of a workers&rsquo; riot in Batam last month says it will undertake steps to avoid similar violence, including hosting a &ldquo;friendship evening&rdquo; and organizing talks on &ldquo;intercultural awareness.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> On April 23, a PT Drydocks World Graha manager of Indian ethnicity allegedly called all Indonesians &ldquo;stupid,&rdquo; sparking a frenzy of vandalism and attacks by thousands of Indonesian subcontractors. Four Indian staff were injured, including one seriously.<br /> <br /> Disparities in pay were also said to have played a part in exacerbating the conflict.<br /> <br /> Drydocks World Graha directly employs 1,919 workers in Batam, while 16,000 more are employed by subcontractors at lower wages.<br /> <br /> Denis Welch, Drydocks World South East Asia chief executive, released a statement on Thursday that was notable for its lack of an apology for the slur, nor did it address allegations by the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration that the company was riddled with problems.<br /> <br /> Graha had previously rejected the allegations.<br /> <br /> Welch said the worldwide coverage in the media had been damaging to the Dubai-owned company&rsquo;s reputation and that &ldquo;of the industry in Batam in general.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Saying there were &ldquo;no winners in these circumstance,&rdquo; he said there were lessons to be learned.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is encouraging to report that the effort to understand and address the issues has involved the full spectrum of interested parties, all of whom are determined to put the event behind us, repair the damage, and move on stronger from the unfortunate experience.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Welch said constructive discussions had been held with all related parties, as well as the Ministry of Industry, the police and military and the Indian High Commission.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are all committed to ensuring that the disruption is not repeated and to reassure our employees, customers, suppliers, and the full cross section of individuals involved in our industry, regardless of race or nationality, that they are safe and welcome in our shipyards.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Welch said they had taken several initiatives to address the &ldquo;possible causes of the disturbance, including a friendship evening and &ldquo;talks on intercultural awareness and communications skills to be attended by our management and supervisors.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Graha would also modify it new employee induction program to include a section on cultural awareness and review workplace security.<br /> <br /> Other steps included increasing awareness of the company&rsquo;s grievance procedure and reviewing &ldquo;subcontractor appointment procedures to ensure that payments to their work force are made promptly and that there are no unfair deductions.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Welch said it would be a challenge to get Graha running at full capacity and recover the time lost on high-value and high-profile contracts.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It would be dishonest of me to suggest that the events have not had a serious impact on our efforts to win new business, but the positive news is that we have a strong order book and even at the height of the problems we have secured further high-tech work from an existing customer,&rdquo; Welch said.<br />
KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated
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