Hundreds of workers are suffering after being laid off from Trump’s failed golf project

Empty “beer” bottles and broken plastic chairs are strewn in the corridors of an abandoned golf course on the island of Bali, which was a tourist resort sought after by billionaire former US President Donald Trump as his “dream project” before it failed. and hundreds of Indonesian workers were fired from it.

Almost 10 years ago, Trump signed an agreement linking his name to the six-star “Nirwana Golf Resort”, one of the most famous golf clubs in the world.

But today this golf club has become an overgrown area, adding to the series of failed projects for Trump, whose bankruptcy of six casinos and hotels affiliated with him has racked up billions of dollars in debt and affected thousands of people.

“There was no clarity about our future,” said Dita Doi, 26, who was responsible for escorting golfers with their equipment before she was forced to work as a “waitress” for Trump’s new project, which did not include the didn’t see the light. We were told we would be rehired, but it never happened.

The “Trump Organization” and the Indonesian “MNC” group closed the resort in 2017 and laid off hundreds of workers, after forming a partnership to change the commercial identity of the “Nirwana Golf Resort” overlooking the Indian Ocean alter.

Ear repair

And the son of former US President Donald Trump said during a visit to the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, in 2019 that the resort’s renovation was a “dream project”. It was Trump’s first venture into Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

But Trump’s deal to license his name to the new resort and help operate it, struck in 2015, turned out to be a pipe dream for the Indonesian workers.

After five years of layoffs, the hotel is demolished, the golf courses are abandoned and a single security guard drives around in a van keeping tourists away from the site.

The abandoned site is a far cry from the high-end image Trump has long maintained with his real estate projects before setting his sights on the White House.

However, the real estate tycoon, who recently announced that he will run again for the US presidential election in 2024, has faced major failures in his projects. His hotel and casino projects went bankrupt six times between 1991 and 2009.

The first project to face bankruptcy was the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in a failure that threatened Trump’s personal fortune. Trump had to sell his yacht, private jet and half of his stock to cover some casino debts.

Postponement for “financial reasons”

The head of the MNC group and Trump’s partner Harry Tanuisodepgo – who bought the “Nirwana” resort in 2013 – spoke about delaying the completion of the new project due to falling income during the “Covid-19” – pandemic. However, the flaws in the implementation of the project began to appear before the outbreak of the virus.

The director of the real estate division of the MNC group, Edwin Dharmasetyawan, declined to specify the number of Indonesian workers who were arbitrarily fired when work on the project was stopped.

He said the delay was due to “financial reasons”, stressing his hope that the project will be developed within two years, although work has not yet started. “I do not consider this project a failure, but rather a delay,” he told AFP.

He continued: “We have another project in the city of Lido that we are currently focusing on,” referring to a large resort project in Lido, south of Jakarta.

That project in West Java, which will include Trump’s golf club and a tourist resort, has sparked controversy over reports of construction workers excavating Islamic ancestral tombs without the permission of local residents.

The Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment about the Bali tourist resort. Many workers in Bali lost jobs because of the billionaires’ decision not to move the project.

While hotel employees received financial compensation after their layoffs, about 150 golfers’ guides – who are temporary contractors – received no money when they were suddenly fired.

“It was difficult,” says Doi. The period when I lost my job was difficult. I felt very angry.”

The young woman was paid 1.3 million rupees ($86) a month, but tips from rich golfers made her earn up to 15 million rupees a month. As for her new job, “waitress”, she gets the same salary, but she doesn’t get tips.

tolerance

However, the hotel and golf course workers, left out of work, are trying to forgive and forget. “It seems (impossible) to get her previous job back,” Doi told AFP. “I started moving forward,” she added.

For her part, says Peta Dewey, who worked in the spa at the hotel for 18 years and now runs her parents’ coffee shop, “Trump’s closing of the spa made her worry about her future.”

And she adds, “I got nervous just thinking about how to earn money because I have kids,” and continues, “I was 48 years old, how could I get another job?”

But in Bali, locals traditionally believe in the importance of forgiveness and letting go of any negative feelings, including negative feelings about Trump.

“We have to get on with our lives,” Dewey says. “If we hate him, will that make him give us our money?”

The “Trump Organization” and the Indonesian “MNC” group closed the resort in 2017 and laid off hundreds of workers, after forming a partnership to change the commercial identity of the “Nirwana Golf Resort” overlooking the Indian Ocean alter.

The Nirwana Golf Resort, a tourist club, became an area where weeds grew, adding to the series of failed projects for Trump, whose bankruptcy of six casinos and hotels led to the accumulation of billions of dollars in debt and damage to thousands of people.

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