Manpower office to facilitate meeting between Freeport and workers

Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) – The manpower office of the Mimika District, Papua, said it would soon facilitate negotiation between Mimika Labor union and the management of PT Freeport Indonesia.

Head of the labor office Ronny Marjen said the negotiation would seek a solution to dispute between the management of the U.S. mining company and the workers .

“We are coordinating with the provincial Manpower Office of Papua to arrange a meeting and in two weeks before the meeting takes place in Jayapura the agenda has been prepared,” Ronny said here on Saturday.

He said after the meeting between the labor union and the management of Freeport in Jayapura on July 10 the provincial manpower office asked the Mimika district manpower office to facilitate a meeting the two conflicting sides .

Mimika District Head Eltinus Omaleng has expressed frustration saying he could not bring the two sides to a compromise and hoped to hand over the case to the central government. However, Ronny said the Mimika district administration is obliged to facilitate and seek to mediate the dispute involving thousands of workers in Timika.

“We could do not more than facilitating a meeting between the disputing parties or seek mediation through industrial relations tribunal , and that is the duty of the Mimika district manpower office,” Ronny said.

So far both sides, the workers laid off by Freeport and the management of Freeport have no plan to seek settlement through court.

“We are ready to mediate if any of them want to bring the dispute to court,” Ronny said.

Freeport Indonesia, which has large gold and copper mines in Papua, has laid off thousands of its workers after it was not allowed to export its concentrates following the government regulation requiring mining companies to process their minerals in the country.

The management of the company said the layoff measure was for efficiency. Later the government allowed the company to resume exports its concentrate, under certain condition.

The workers have urged the government to immediately settle their dispute with the company as the number of laid-off workers has continued to increase.

Until March , 2017, the company already laid off 2,102 contract workers, while giving long leave and offering voluntary resignation to 291 permanent staffers, according to the local unit of All Indonesia Labor Union’s (SPSI), which represents around 12,000 workers of Freeport.

The labor union claimed that PT Freeport 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, was quoted as saying .

Source: Antara News