Work­ers on strike at Freeport’s gold mine

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

MORE than 1000 work­ers have gone on strike at an In­done­sian gold and cop­per mine owned by US firm Freeport-McMoRan in a row over bonus pay­ments, the com­pany and a union said yes­ter­day.

The work­ers, mostly truck op­er­a­tors, started the strike on Septem­ber 28 at Gras­berg, one of the world’s big­gest gold and cop­per mines, in the moun­tains of eastern Pa­pua prov­ince.

The work­ers’ union said they were an­gry about dif­fer­ences in bonus pay­ments given to them and an en­gi­neer­ing team at the site.

Riza Pratama, a spokesper­son for Freeport’s In­done­sian unit, said op­er­a­tions in Gras­berg’s open­pit mine had been af­fected by the strike but an un­der­ground mine at the site was so far un­af­fected.

A pro­cess­ing plant at the mine was still op­er­at­ing but at lim­ited ca­pac­ity, he said.

A mem­ber of the union, Gibi Kenelak, said that a se­nior com­pany of­fi­cial had flown from Jakarta and spo­ken to the work­ers but the mat­ter re­mained un­re­solved.

Gras­berg has been plagued by strikes, ac­ci­dents and pro­duc­tion prob­lems in re­cent years.

In 2011, a three-month strike crip­pled pro­duc­tion at the mine, and work­ers only halted the in­dus­trial ac­tion once Freeport agreed to a huge pay rise. –

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