12 Mar 2008

PNG's Ok Tedi mine shut as workers demand doubling of pay

3:20 pm on 12 March 2008

The OK Tedi copper and gold mine in Papua New Guinea's Western Province has been forced to suspended operations after workers walked off the job.

The company, which last month declared a 679 million US dollar profit for the past financial year, recently gave engineers a 100 percent pay rise to ensure they did not go overseas.

Now all workers want the same rise.

Our correspondent in PNG, Alex Rheeney, says management are calling the strike illegal, and want the matter resolved quickly.

"Indications from the mine site, they are expecting officials from the Department of Labour and Industrial relations to fly in some times today to begin negotiations but definitely the demand is for 100 percent pay rises for all employees."

Alex Rheeney.