23 Apr 2007

Papua workers at Indonesian mine get pay increase

2:23 pm on 23 April 2007

Papuan workers at the Grasberg mine in Indonesia's Papua province have secured a commitment from their employers for a pay rise and other benefits.

Thousands of Papuan workers returned to work at the weekend, ending a five-day strike after management from a subsidiary of US firm Freeport McMoRan agreed to some of their demands.

The group representing the workers, Tongoi Papua, were demanding higher wages, improved welfare, and better access to management-level jobs for Papuan workers.

Tongoi Papua's secretary, Penina Karma, says the company has now agreed to raise the workers' monthly salary of 174 US dollars to 340 dollars.

And she says the establishment of a Papua Affairs department at the project will ensure Papuans more benefits and representation.

"So management Freeport, they realised they must change the atmosphere at Freeport. So today everything is running well, normal, and we already have a new commitment with them."

Penina Karma