More than 1-thousand workers from the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea will be temporarily laid off for about three months until vandalised power pylons are repaired.
The Porgera Allied Workers Union wants the workers to be paid during the temporary closure.
However the Placer Niugini manging director, Evert Van den Brand, says it would be too difficult to pay people when the company was not earning anything.
Mr Van den Brand says workers had nothing to do because there was no power, and the temporary lay off would continue until restoration was completed.
The union says their members were not the cause of the closure and should not be penalised in such a manner.