14 Oct 2011

Papua church leader calls for peaceful resolution to mine conflict

4:15 pm on 14 October 2011

The leader of Papua's Baptist church says the Indonesian government and the owners of a mine at the centre of an industrial dispute should negotiate with the workers.

About eight-thousand miners at Freeport McMoRan's huge gold and copper operation in the Indonesian province went on strike a month ago in a bid for higher wages.

The Grasberg employees are widely acknowledged to be the lowest paid of the mining company's global workforce.

Reverend Socratez Sofyan Yoman says both Freeport and Jakarta must listen to what the people want.

"They will find a good solution. Not to use the gun or use the police to kill the people. We hope that they come round the table. Together to talk and discuss."

Reverend Socratez Sofyan Yoman says the drive for Papuan self-determination is attracting a growing international following.