19 Apr 2007

Papuan workers at Freeport mine meet management to discuss demands

3:14 pm on 19 April 2007

Papuan workers at the Freeport gold and copper mine in Indonesia's Papua province are due to meet the company's management today to discuss worker demands.

This follows thousands of Papuan workers walking off the job on Tuesday, demanding the US-based Freeport company give a better deal for Papuan workers and the traditional landowners of the mine.

Sources in Timika say between 3,000 and 4,000 employees joined the walkout.

The workers are demanding increases in their wages and a greater share of the benefits from the lucrative mine operations for Papuans.

The General Secretary of the West Papuan Workers Union Association at Freeport, Penina Karma, says Papuans are not given enough opportunities within the mining project.

"We want more Papuans in the management level. We only have one vice-president in thirty-five. We want more managers, more vice-presidents, and more in the middle management."

Penina Karma