17 Apr 2010

Striking Ok Tedi mine workers in PNG agree to return to work following MOU

7:18 am on 17 April 2010

Striking workers at the Ok Tedi gold and copper mine in Papua New Guinea agreed to return to work this morning after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed yesterday.

1,500 workers began their stoppage over pay at the start of the month but the action was later ruled to be illegal, leading to the company sacking the striking employees.

But late yesterday the mine's Managing Director, Alan Breen, and the Ok Tedi Mining and Allied Workers Union and the government signed an MOU.

The MOU commits all parties to resolve employee grievances by August the 1st of August, and that any matters still unresolved at that time are to be referred to an Independent Arbitrator for judgement.

Mr Breen said following the signing that he would commit to the Memorandum of Understanding.

He said it was regretful that the strike happened and the company had to make every effort to learn from this.

Alan Breen also thanked the employees for the peaceful way they conducted the strike.

The company says it expects to recover a significant part of the more than 30 million US dollars of lost production in the industrial dispute during the remainder of the year.