【First-line Interview】 Inside Indonesia’s Belt and Road Chinese Enterprise Employees Infected with Epidemic

The “Belt and Road” project, which is highly valued by the Chinese Communist Party, has been accused by Chinese employees in Indonesia, and employees’ interests, rights and lives have been threatened and lost. (VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

A number of employees of the Chinese Communist Party’s Belt and Road project in Indonesia have told the Epoch Times that they accuse the Chinese company of mismanagement and disregard for the lives of its employees during the epidemic, putting their rights and lives at risk.

The largest Chinese companies in the Belt and Road project in Indonesia include Delong Group and Qingshan Holdings Group, which are mainly engaged in the smelting industry. This time, in the face of the global pandemic of the CCP virus (New Coronavirus), employees have experienced the plight of not being able to return to their home countries, and many of them have been infected with the disease, either in company quarantine or in hotel quarantine. From October last year to the present, more than 200 employees of various categories have been under “house arrest” in hotels, and can only go out during nucleic acid testing.

Four Chinese employees could not stand it anymore and exposed their experiences to the media, not wanting to hide it anymore. They said it was a matter of life and death for thousands of Chinese employees. For fear of reprisals, they chose to complain anonymously to the media (at the request of the interviewees, some of the names of the companies involved are omitted from this article).

Passport confiscation and loss of human rights and freedoms

Li Yichang (a pseudonym), an engineer, said that no matter who was in the company, everyone’s passports had to be turned in as soon as they entered. “When we came over all the passports were all unified and managed on the company side.” He said, “If you want to take the passport, you have to sign an agreement, the company means that you have to leave, then you have to resign and sign a waiver form, meaning that you take this passport you have to go back.” He talked about how this meant that everything after leaving the company, such as expenses, was paid for by themselves, which was very different from the agreement signed at the time.

All four of them had their passports seized, but the process of getting them back ended differently and was even more difficult.

Li Yichang mentioned that he is an only son and his father is in his 90s, and the family is spending 4,000 RMB per month to take care of his father. “We all risked a very dangerous spirit, no way, signed the (resignation) agreement, the company gave us the passport.”

After leaving the company, Li Yichang how did not expect that he became asymptomatic infected, and to this day, he still has a home to return to, stranded in Indonesia. Later, Li Yichang’s passport was taken back by Delonghi.

Lin Hexiang (a pseudonym), who is the head of an outsourcing company, should be in a much better situation by definition. However, he was the one who fled out. “The passport is in the owner’s hands and they are in charge. To get a passport is not so good, on their side, the visa is in their hands.” He said.

As more and more people in the park contracted the virus and died, Lin and Xiang finally chose to flee the company. “There was a new crown patient in the dormitory area who died without treatment.” He said, “The results of the test came out only the person in charge knew, and the integrated department people know, because as long as it is positive, this doctor will inform the leadership of the integrated department, others workers they will not know.”

Lin Hexiang chose to leave because he was the only one left in the company to sweep up, it would have been time to go back, and he was also unfortunately infected with the epidemic, because he could not get treatment and wanted to hurry up and leave. To avoid the surveillance of the security guards, he swam across the river and escaped from the company.

Zhang Hua Wei (a pseudonym), an outsourced worker, because the type of work he was doing was in great need of people, the company was dragging its feet and just wouldn’t give him a passport. Last September, he began to want, “I have a physical disease, gastritis plus herniated discs, can not do work, the family head is still a little thing. I want a passport is more rugged.” No money in the local medical treatment, he repeatedly asked for a passport in vain, until the end of October, there are other employees threatened to sue, seriously ill, he took the opportunity to get his passport back.

The only “lucky” of the four of them is Chen Yuqing (a pseudonym), Delong’s outsourced Deere workers, the original visa expiration should return to the country, encountered the epidemic, Deere company asked to continue to work, wait until the navigation back, the results of the navigation can not get a passport. He found the project manager of Deere, “the manager said that all of our passports are stored in Delong, saying that if Delong does not give passports, we can not do air tickets and can not return. Delong said that now all of those who request to return to their home countries pay their own way.” Chen Yuqing said.

He said that the contract signed by the owner of his contracting team clearly states that the workers are responsible for all the round-trip expenses when their work period expires. Finally waited about 3 months Chen Yuqing because of back injury (work injury), lost the ability to work, only on November 14 to get a passport. “Our side of the government department also went to notify the Indonesian side, the Delong side, and I found the general director of Delong to reflect the situation through the relationship of acquaintances, and it was approved for me to return to the country in seven weeks.” Chen Yuqing finally returned to China on November 30, and the process of returning to China with a passport is also a twist and turn.

He said, “Delong is not very good at recruiting people in the country, the staff is tight, willing to work there; unwilling to work, you should fulfill the contract, let people return to the country. You can’t forcefully seize people’s passports.”

No medical treatment for infected epidemic spreads out of control within the company

In the global pandemic of the Chinese Communist Party virus, the company in Kendari, Indonesia, has about 2,000 regular Chinese employees and the rest are outsourced workers. Only the company’s leaders know that the employees are infected, and they do not inform themselves, and many are asymptomatic.

Li Yichang was one of the asymptomatic infected people. He signed a resignation agreement without knowing his illness. When he arrived in Jakarta and was tested before leaving, he learned that “he couldn’t pass the nucleic acid test, he couldn’t get on the plane, he was all positive. “About forty percent of the people failed, and we had all bought tickets. There are still about two hundred people in quarantine at the hotel.” He said.

“We are all among the asymptomatic infected. People don’t know that most of them inside the factory are this kind of asymptomatic. There is also a problem with the management of this inside the factory, they only care about production because one person has to take three local employees.” He said there were many people who resigned during the epidemic, more than 100 people at the same time as him.

Now there are still more than 100 people in the hotel where Li Yichang is staying, “all of whom are confirmed.” He said, “We continue to live, but there is no medicine and treatment, is the daily observation observation, a observation on the observation of six months time, and now we are not allowed to leave.” “Everyone is asymptomatic, ninety-nine percent of the people are asymptomatic, there may be symptoms of about one or two, there are symptoms will not be sent to the hospital, unless you have other diseases, the sudden onset of very serious kind before you are sent to the hospital.”

He said everyone is suspicious of the test results, “We have been suspicious at first, and now I am suspicious ah!” “It is the local hospital testing, but it is the embassy designated hospital, the embassy designated several hospitals to be recognized.”

“The embassy has not given us anything, on the New Year’s Eve sent us a condolence, sent a cup of boiling water, sent a small bottle of alcohol, did not send anything.”

Li Yichang said that because people could not afford so much, they found the embassy, which came out to discuss with Delonghi to take over. They are now under “house arrest”. “Double negative people, for example, nucleic acid test over, IGM test over, will not give you the drug; if the IGM did not pass, at most give you a lotus Qing Wen and other two kinds of drugs, but the number is very small, at most eat two or three days and then run out, will not give you, to wait until fourteen days later, if the test does not pass, then give you.”

Zhang Hua Wei is also an asymptomatic infected person, is also currently stranded in Jakarta can not return home.

Chen Yuqing is not infected with the disease, he was injured on August 8 last year and waited until November 16 to leave, a full 100 days. “I was injured while working, that should definitely be a work injury, when I asked their leaders to take me to check or write a certificate, none of the leaders answered me, none of the leaders write a word to you, you deserve to die.” He talked about how the 56-year-old couldn’t stand the back pain there, couldn’t sleep at night, and the company didn’t help him with treatment.

Withholding wages management chaos see no hope

Li Yichang said that when he came to the company also promised not to owe wages, every six months back to the country on vacation, the costs incurred by the company to bear all, “of course, this is also there are provisions and documents, but also signed the agreement.” “But this agreement we did not get in hand, they did not give us. The company side saved a copy.”

Lee Yi Chang now regrets coming to Indonesia to work, this is his second time here, “I wasn’t going to come, at first if I don’t come over here in December 2019, then I won’t get two months of salary.” He said, “The company won’t give me, and I am still one month short of my salary until now. Last October’s salary has not been given to me until now, and I definitely won’t get this salary, so I’m sure the current expenses will be deducted.”

As a result of being stranded in Jakarta, the initial month of accommodation, meals, testing fees, money to buy medicine probably cost more than 20,000 yuan (RMB), “from October to December last year, we paid the costs ourselves, after December all the costs are borne by the company, I should have spent 40,000 yuan now.” He said he went back to prepare to file a lawsuit.

Li Yichang mentioned that the company’s management is chaotic, gangster such, you rectify me, I rectify you, “the grassroots management level is poor and low cultural quality, so I do not want to do.”

Because of the company’s irrational management style, employees are not acceptable. “If you are on the job, if you don’t want to do it, or what, they get these local people to threaten you, and some of them even hit you with their hands, with guns. Our local security guards are hired to have rifles, they hire security guards at the door with real guns and carry them on their backs every day.”

“Conflict there, last year the hands cut off all. Last year the locals even burned our factory down.” Because of the epidemic, the Chinese were given a hundred dollars a day each, the locals were not, the wages were so low that the locals burned the factory down last December.

He also mentioned that the outsourced personnel treatment is very poor, “for example, the company issued some subsidies money, the small bosses will be their own money to fish away, they do not send down; there is a situation is to do half a year not get a penny, a lot of. Because they promise is that you do half a year, go back to my money to you, this is a big problem. There is no agreement, no contract, verbal promises.”

He also talked about how the fines inside the company are very high and there is no reasoning. The fines range from 1,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan, “a month to earn more than 10,000 yuan, a one-time fine of 10,000 yuan, you say you can still earn money?” He said, “It’s useless for you to protest because they are suppressing the Chinese employees very much.”

Zhang Hua Wei and others have also experienced wage garnishment. In the end, he was paid back his wages after a strong protest. “I even went on strike for 10 days because of my salary.”

Zhang Hua Wei this Indonesia working experience, let him break his heart, “a belt and a road, in my personal opinion, is propaganda, not much use. Can what is advertised be the same as what is actually done?”

The four of them have many more deceptive details and losses that they cannot go into. Many people with the same experience as them want to sue and call on people from all walks of life to pay attention to a special group like them and lend a helping hand so they can go home soon.