16 Sep 2011

Month-long strike begins at Papua's Freeport mine

5:17 am on 16 September 2011

Thousands of workers at Freeport-McMoran's gold and copper mine in Indonesia's Papua region have begun a month-long strike to protest against low wages.

A union spokesman says 90 percent of the mine's 12,000 employees are taking part in the strike hoping to raise the hourly minimum wage from two US dollars and 10 cents to more than 17 US dollars an hour.

Workers say they want to get what the US-owned company Freeport pays its workers in other countries.

Freeport says there is no legal basis for the work stoppage.

Analysts say the company is set to lose 30 million US dollars a day in revenue.

The strike is worrying Jakarta as Freeport is Indonesia's top tax payer, contributing 1.75 billion US dollars last year.