Fired Workers Spear Boss in Indonesia

Fired workers from a Volvo (search) dealership in Indonesia (search) attacked their Swedish boss with spears during a dispute over severance pay, police said Friday.

Michael Ollson was stabbed in the back and slashed in the face at a meeting with the workers last week in Balikpapan (search), East Kalimantan, police said.

He survived, but it was unclear whether he remained hospitalized. Officials from the Swedish Embassy were not immediately available for comment.

Four men have been arrested in the attack. Three were among 31 workers who had recently been fired from the firm, police said. A fourth was a member of right-wing youth group known for thuggery.

Ollson, an executive with Volvo dealer PT Eka Dharma, was trying to negotiate a settlement with the workers, who were demanding that eight managers also be fired and that the company give them $1.2 million in compensation.

Labor strife is common in Indonesia and is partly to blame for a drop in foreign investment in recent years. Multinationals complain of having to endure violent strikes and villagers who attempt to extort money by blockading roads and attacking offices.