7 Oct 2011

Papua union extends strike for another month

7:47 am on 7 October 2011

Union workers at Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold mine in Indonesia's Papua region have extended their strike for a second month, the longest strike in the country's mining industry.

Reuters reports about 12,000 of Freeport's 23,000 workers have joined the strike, reducing mining, processing and shipping of concentrates from Grasberg, the world's third-largest copper mine.

In Indonesia, union official Juli Parorrongan told Reuters a letter on the extended strike had been sent to the company.

Freeport officials were not available to comment.

The union has lowered its pay rise demand to $12.50 to $37 an hour from $17.5 to $43 an hour. The mine workers' current rate is $1.5 to $3 per hour.

Earlier this week, Freeport said they had "accepted" a mediator's suggestion of a 25 percent increase.

But the offer was rejected by the workers.