13 Jul 2011

Thousands of striking mine workers in Indonesia's Papua return to work

10:51 am on 13 July 2011

Striking workers at Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold's Indonesia mine will return to work later today after their union said the firm agreed to its demands in talks yesterday.

The union had already promised that 8,000 workers would return to restart paralysed output at the mine in Papua yesterday after a late-night deal on Monday.

But it had backtracked on that and called for further demands to be met.

For the eight-day strike to end, the union wanted the Indonesia CEO Armando Mahler to be included in negotiations over pay.

It was also pushing to have talks with Freeport Chairman James Moffett, and for the company to sack some Indonesia management members.

Union official Virgo Solossa told Reuters after talks with Mr Mahler they agreed to return because the management agreed to all of the union's demands.

It was not clear what Freeport agreed to.

Union leaders say Mr Mahler will be involved intermittently in pay talks, which are due to start next week.

The union has been pushing for a doubling of salaries for workers.