Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) — Workers at Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. in Indonesia’s Grasberg mine will rally on Sept. 29 after failing to agree on pay increases in government-brokered talks last week, as the strike continues, a union official said.
About half of 8,000 non-staff workers at Grasberg in Papua province, who have walked out of jobs since Sept. 15, will join the protest, said Virgo Solossa, head of organizational affairs at PT Freeport Indonesia’s labor union.
Workers in Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Indonesia have gone on strike at copper, gold and zinc mines this year, seeking improved conditions and a bigger slice of record profits after metal prices more than doubled since the end of 2008. The strike at Grasberg, which has the world’s largest recoverable reserves of copper, has raised concern it may widen a global deficit and boost prices.
“We have conducted a peaceful stoppage in the 12 days of strike, but the management doesn’t appreciate that and has declared that our activity is illegal,” Solossa said in a telephone interview from Timika, the closest town to Grasberg. “We want to show that we remain solid and will question the ‘no work no pay’ note from management as well as sanctions against several strikers, to the manpower office in the rally.”