23 Apr 2007

Strike over at PT Freeport gold and copper mine in Indonesian province of Papua

6:24 am on 23 April 2007

Thousands of mine workers in Indonesia's remote Papua province have reportedly returned to work after a subsidiary of US firm Freeport McMoRan agreed to a pay rise and other benefits.

The Jakarta Post says the agreement was reportedly made after representatives of the workers raised their demands directly with Freeport chief executive James Moffet in the United States via a teleconference on Saturday night.

More than 2,000 workers from the giant gold and copper mine started protesting on Tuesday at the headquarters of PT Freeport Indonesia, outside the town of Timika.

The dispute centred on demands for higher wages, improved welfare, and better access to higher-level jobs for Papuan workers.

The rally helped push world copper prices to eight thousand US dollars a tonne amid concerns disruptions could lead to a drop in stockpiles of the metal.