Strike at Freeport’s Papua mine to continue

Striking workers at the Grasberg copper and gold mine in Indonesia’s Papua region have announced that their industrial action will extend until at least 15 December.

The strike for better wages began in mid-September and has forced the mine’s operator, US-based Freeport McMoran, to declare force majeure on shipments.

Workers are currently earning up to 3 dollars US 50 per hour.

The union has lowered its bargaining position for the workers’ pay rise to four US dollars an hour in the first year and to seven dollars 50 in the following year.

Negotiations are still ongoing.

The strike has coincided with a series of shootings and violent attacks in the area which have left at least five people dead.

The Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific network says workers have been harrassed and attacked by Freeport management since their strike began.

The network says given the isolated location of the mine, the company is hoping to starve the workers back to work.

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