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Jakarta Post

Indonesia urged to settle dispute amid Freeport workers' outcry

  • Viriya P. Singgih

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, March 23, 2017   /   03:05 pm
Indonesia urged to settle dispute amid Freeport workers' outcry The demobilization process of workers of gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of the United States-based mining giant Freeport McMoRan, that operates the Grasberg mine in Papua, the world's biggest gold mine and second-largest copper mine. (Courtesy of/The All Indonesia Labor Union’s (SPSI) local unit for PT Freeport Indonesia)

Gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) employees have urged the government once again to immediately settle its dispute with the company as the number of laid-off workers has kept increasing from one day to another.

As of March 14, the company had laid off 2,102 contract workers, while giving long leave and offering voluntary resignation to 291 permanent staffers, according to the All Indonesia Labor Union’s (SPSI) local unit for PTFI, which represents around 12,000 PTFI workers.

The union also claims PTFI aims to dismiss 782 permanent staffers in the first phase of its efficiency measures.

“The company should discuss its efficiency measures together with the union so that both parties can reach a win-win solution,” Tri Puspital, an advocacy division member at the SPSI for PTFI, told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

(Read also: Era of selling natural resources has ended: Jokowi)

Hence, he called on PTFI to stop such measures, while urging the government to immediately settle the dispute with the company.

PTFI was banned from exporting its copper concentrates on Jan. 12, when the government fully imposed the mineral export ban, as initially mandated in the 2009 Mining Law.

Under the new policy, PTFI can only process its export permit if it shows a commitment to converting its contract of work (CoW) into a special mining license (IUPK), divests 51 percent of its shares to local entities and build a new smelter alone or together with other companies. (bbn)