Indonesia Freeport workers blockade mine


TIMIKA, Indonesia — More than 1,000 workers on strike at a giant Indonesian mine owned by US company Freeport McMoRan blocked the only road to the facility Wednesday, days after a deadly clash with police.

It was not immediately clear what impact the blockade was having on production at the Grasberg complex, one of the world’s biggest gold and copper mines.

Police shot and killed one protester and wounded at least six others in Timika, in eastern Indonesia’s Papua province, Monday in a standoff with workers demanding higher wages.

Herman Sirakoy, a Freeport worker at the blockade told AFP: “We demand the company, police and the local government take responsibility for the shootings, and that Freeport stop operations completely as they have been instructed to do.”

A company representative was trying to negotiate with the workers, who had felled trees to block the route, he said. “We will not unblock the road until Freeport stops operations,” Sirakoy added.

A Freeport spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Police say violence broke out Monday when workers began pelting stones at officers, seven of whom were hospitalised. Workers set fire to a car and three trucks belonging to Freeport during the clash.

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