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Indonesian workers join riots, burn cars in Bandung

Kyodo News - January 31, 1997

Jakarta – More than 12,000 Indonesian workers staged a protest Friday, demanding a bonus for the Islamic Eid-al-Fitr holiday, with some of them burning cars and destroying a factory in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung, police said.

The violence is the latest incident in a wave of riotings by Muslims in the Bandung area in which Chinese temples and Christian churches have been attacked.

"The last report we received said two cars located about 30 kilometers east of Bandung, which is 125 km southeast of Jakarta.

All companies operating in Indonesia must give a bonus to their workers to celebrate the Islamic holiday or the Christmas holiday at least two weeks before the holidays.

Some companies, however, try not to pay the bonus or delay paying it, which usually spark labor strikes or riots.

Muslim mobs rampaged through the West Java town of Rengasdengklok on Thursday, destroying four Christian churches and two Chinese temples, more than 20 cars and about 70 other buildings.

The riots Thursday followed reports that a Chinese-Indonesian had complained about noise from a mosque.