17 Sep 2011

Indonesia minister to visit Freeport mines over Papua strike

6:20 am on 17 September 2011

The Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Darwin Zahedy Saleh plans to visit mines run by Freeport Indonesia to support efforts to solve the labour-related problems the company located in Papua region is facing.

Thousands of workers at Freeport-McMoran's gold and copper mine in Papua 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.

The Jakarta Post reports a press statement issued by the ministry says the minister and his officials would visit Freeport Indonesia to ensure production at the mines.

The ministry has appointed a staff member to watch over production facilities and coordinate with other institutions to solve labor-related problems.

The ministry says labor problems at PT Freeport have a wide, cross-sectoral impact.