Two Freeport Contractors Killed Near Papua Mine

TAPOL - Agence France-Presse
January 9, 2012

Two contractors working for US company Freeport-McMoRan were found
dead Monday near a giant gold-and-copper mine that has been hit by a
strike and violence for months, the company said.

Ten people, all Indonesians, have now been killed around the mine in
ambushes and in a clash with police since a strike that began in
September at the company’s Grasberg mine in restive Papua province.

The latest victims, who were found dead in a vehicle owned by the US
company, had apparently been shot, said Ramdani Sirait, spokesman for
the company’s local subsidiary, Freeport Indonesia.

“At about 9:15 a.m. local time this morning, we received a report of
an incident involving a light vehicle which has fatally injured two
contractor employees,” Sirait said.

“Initial reports indicate that the vehicle appears to have been fired
upon,” he added, confirming that the two workers had died.

Police, who have blamed “unidentified gunmen” for some of the
shootings, did not immediately comment on the latest incident.

A Freeport employee at the scene said the vehicle, a Toyota Land
Cruiser, had been flipped over and burnt.

In mid-December, Freeport Indonesia said that a three-month strike
involving more than 8,000 workers and 1,600 contractors had been

But on Friday the workers union said that several of Freeport’s
subcontractors had not paid more than 900 employees at the mine and
that they would not return to work until that was resolved.

Freeport had said it aims to have all workers back by Jan. 16 and
reach full capacity in the following weeks when some damaged pipelines
are repaired.

The workers claimed to be Freeport’s lowest-paid employees in the
world, including those at mines in Africa and South America.

Last month, workers said they had agreed to return to the mines after
negotiating a 37-percent pay increase on wages that started at $1.50
an hour for unionized members and better conditions for contractors.


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