31 May 2013

Worker at Grasberg mine in Papua says collapse was human error

5:07 am on 31 May 2013

A staff member at the Grasberg mine in Indonesia's Papua says he is defying management orders not to join the union, after a tunnel collapse two weeks ago killed 28 people.

Darmawan Puteranto is a level two staffer and a member of the All Indonesian Workers Union.

He says mine owners Freeport McMoRan told staff they are part of management and cannot join the union.

But he is attending a collective labour agreement meeting to argue for better rights, including greater safety and protection of workers, and a greater share of the profits of the world's biggest gold mine.

He says the collapse was human error and workers are concerned.

"I think all employees are worried about their working conditions right now. They are not sure anymore about the safety, about the safety programme. I think the management should improve or modify the safety programme to avoid the same thing happening tomorrow."

Darmawan Puteranto says compensation paid to the families of victims of the collapse should be the same for employees and contractors.