7 Jul 2011

Number of Papuan mine strikers exaggerated, says worker

3:12 pm on 7 July 2011

A non-striking employee at Freeport McMoran's mine operations in Indonesia's Papua province says the number of workers on strike has been exaggerated.

A strike by what union spokesman Virgo Solossa told the AFP news agency were 8,000 workers demanding better wages has entered a third day at the huge gold and copper mine near Timika.

A Papuan employee who wishes to remain unnamed says only about 1,000 people are striking and that many union members continue to work.

While much of the mine's operations have been stalled, she says the union's actions are unlikely to result in the 1,000 percent pay rise they are demanding.

"The company will give increased salary but not like this, in a strike situation. It has to be bring to the collective labour agreement between the government and the union held every two years."

She says the estimated 300-strong group which continues to block the main route to the mine is from local tribes which have been promised benefits by the union from the wage rise being demanded.