Speaking on behalf of DAP, Dewan Adat Papua, Forkorus Yaboisembut said that the chief of the Indonesian police, the chief of police in Papua and the commnder of the XVII Cenderawasih Command should withdraw all their troopa who are currently deployed in the vicinity of the mine. He said that it was important for the police and the security forces to stop exerting pressure on the company. They should also be ordered to stop exerting pressure on the workers.
‘The security forces should stop interfering in any way with the company,’ he said. ‘The two sides involved in a dispute must find a solution together. If they are subjected to pressure, the dispute will never be solved,’ he said.
He also said that the Indonesian govrnment should urge the company to provide a clarification about its revenues. ‘If the government can convince the company to review the wages that they pay to the workers, the dispute can be speedily resolved,’ he said.
Meanwhile, the lawyer, Yan Christian Warinussy said that the shooting of Petrus Ayamiseba was a gross violation of human rights, and he hoped that the Papua branch of the National Human Rights Commission would speedily hold a meeting with the chief of police in Papua, Police Inspector-General Bigman Lukkaman Tobing to press for this shooting incident to be resolved in the human rights court. He said that if this does not happen, the police will claim that this was nothing more than a criminal act.
He want on to say that the shooting to death was a breach of Law 39/1998 regarding safeguarding actions undertaken by the people.
Warinussy also said that the company should halt all their provocative actions. ‘The company and the workers should sit down together to discuss the rights of the workers.’
Warinussy said that he was currently in Timika and was carrying out his own investigations and he said that he would be having a meeting with the chief of police in Mimika and with the company. The results would be conveyed to the chairman of the Papuan branch of the National Human Rights Commission. Matius Murib.
Petrus Ayamiseba who was 36 years old died when he was struck by a burning rod of tin belonging to the police while he was taking part in a demonstration at the Gorong-Gorong Terminal.
During the incident, another person was also killed, namely Jamil, a member of Brimob.
- INDONESIA: Police in Timika kill one union protester and injure others at Freeport (westpapuamedia.info)
- Kontras condemns police shooting of Freeport workers (westpapuamedia.info)
- West Papua Report October 2011 (westpapuamedia.info)
The Freeport gold and copper mine in Papua is one of the world’s largest.
10 October 2011
The Indonesian authorities must immediately investigate the use of deadly force by police at a mining protest, Amnesty International said today after one protester was killed and at least six injured.
Indonesian security forces opened fire on striking workers of a gold and copper mine in the eastern province of Papua run by US company Freeport-Mcmoran on Monday. Some 8,000 workers at the mine have been on strike since 15 September, after demands for a pay rise reached a deadlock.
“This latest incident shows that Indonesian police have not learned how to deal with protesters without resorting to excessive, and even lethal, force,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director.
“The police have a duty to protect themselves and uphold the law, but it is completely unacceptable to fire live ammunition at these protesters,” he said.
“The authorities must launch an independent and impartial investigation into this tragedy, and ensure that the results are made public,” he added.
Mine worker Petrus Ayemseba was shot in the buttocks and died a few hours later. Six other workers – Leo Wandagau, Alius Komba, Melkias Rumbiak, Yunus Nguluduan, Philiton Kogoya and Ahmad Mustofa were also injured from the shooting.
Freeport has accused the strikers of trying to intimidate replacement workers whom the company was trying to move into the mine workers’ barracks.
After the police opened fire, mine workers set fire to two container trucks heading to the mining town and pelted the police with rocks, according to local sources.
Amnesty International has documented numerous cases where Indonesian police have used unnecessary or excessive force or firearms and where no one has been held accountable.
“Indonesian authorities have failed to provide justice and reparations to most victims of excessive use force by the police. They must get to the bottom of this incident quickly and signal that they will impose adequate disciplinary or criminal sanctions on the police and will protect the right of Indonesians to protest,” Sam Zarifi said.
“It is high time the Indonesian police trained and equipped their staff in non-violent methods of crowd control. They also need to ensure that they have non-lethal means of force at their disposal to disperse the protesters if necessary,” he added.
Indonesia must end criminalization of peaceful political protests in Papua (PUBLIC STATEMENT, 14 July 2011)
Indonesia: Arbitrary and excessive use of force and firearms in North Sumatra (URGENT ACTION, 1 August 2011)
- A history of violence at Indonesia mine/AJE (westpapuamedia.info)
- Freeport Strikes Could Just Work (westpapuamedia.info)
- Amnesty International Welcomes Release of Papuan Students in Manokwari (westpapuamedia.info)
- Protester killed in Indonesia mine strike (guardian.co.uk)
- BBC: US Firm Freeport Struggles To Escape Its Past In Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
Jayapura: The efforts being made by the DPRP (the Papuan provincial legislative assembly) to persuade the CEO of Freeport Indonesia to attend a meeting between the trade union, the SPSI, and related organisations, have apparently failed. The CEO Armanda Mahler was not present at the meeting.
According to the chairman of Commission A of the DPRP, the meeting discussed the wages of the Freeport workforce and made several recommendations.The first was that the DPRP, the provincial legislative assembly, should set up a special team to visit the location of the mine in Tembagapura. The second was a decision to write to the management asking the company to stop recruiting new workers as well as other steps that are harmful to the workforce. The third was to call on the Indonesian government, via the intermediary of the US embassy in Jakarta to approach the major shareholder, James Robert Moffet to be held to account for the conflict between the company and the workforce.
Asked about the failure of Moffet to attend the meeting, the DPRP member said that this revealed the arrogance of the American side towards the Indonesian government for not respecting the views of other parties. ‘Our spirits have not been dimmed,’ he said, ‘as we are voicing the aspirations of the Papuan people.’
Meanwhile, the spokesman for the SPSI Julius Pororongan, together with the chairman of PUK-SPSI, told the press after the meting that efforts to recruit new workers was a blatant violation of Law 13/2003 on labour relations, because the company is not allowed to recruit workers while workers are on strike.
It also appears that since the start of the strike by the Freeport workforce, an accident occurred at the mine but the identities of the two casualties are not known. The union said that if they were able to obtain the names of the two casualties, they would announce them to the press.
The union rejects any mediation because the proposal for mediation does not take into account the call for a 25 percent (sic) increase in wages. Our demands, he said, are based on a number of factors. Firstly, the capacity of the company and secondly it income, and thirdly it should take account of the need for compensation for the risks involve in the work, and fourthly, it should take account of inflation.Fifthly it should take account of the educational level and work experiences. He said that the union had held meetings with the MPR and the DPRPand hopes that the provincial government will pay attention to the special autonomy law because the company falls under the authority of this law. While both the company and the workforce are major assets , it is hoped that the government will work together witl all the relevant components and will seriously recognise that the company has been responsible for many violations by sacking workers for no legitimate reason and has intimidated the workers.
‘They hve intimidated our wives and children by sending them sms messages. This is very inhumane because our wives stay at home and dont know anything about what is happening in these industrial relations. The union has suggested that the company should stop violating the stipulations of the Industrial Relations Court .If the labour contracts remain in force a whole year, this means there will be no increase in wages, which will greatly benefit Freeport.’
He said that their efforts in their communications with the MRP and the DPRP as well as with the government were intended to get the government to deal with the problem more speedily.’It is not our intention to destroy the company,’ he said. ‘On the contrary, we want to persuade the company to acknowledge the workers living conditions within the framework of better industrial relations so as to avoid the emergence of new problems that occur when peopl are arbitrarily sacked .
- Freeport strike results in a loss of US$8.2 million a day for the Indonesian government (westpapuamedia.info)
- Deal with the rectification of history first, says Indonesia (westpapuamedia.info)
- Freeport Strikes Could Just Work (westpapuamedia.info)
- West Papua Report October 2011 (westpapuamedia.info)
- Union makes move to end Freeport strike (westpapuamedia.info)
Statement by the Coalition for the Freeport Indonesia Workers’ Struggle – September 28, 2011
We fully support the strike by PT Freeport Indonesia workers for better wages and conditions. The government must guarantee legal protection to the workers and protect them against intimidation and threats while they are on strike and conducting negotiations with the company in accordance with Law Number 13/2003 on Labour.
The strike by around 8,000 PT. Freeport Indonesia employees in Timika, West Papua, is to demand that the management bring their wages into line with PT Freeport Mc Moran wage standards in other countries. Freeport currently pays its workers as little as US$1.50 and hour and workers are demanding that this be increased to US$3 (25,000 rupiah) an hour. Freeport workers in other countries currently receive an hourly wage of US$15 or 128,250 rupiah per hour.
The Freeport management has refused to fulfill the workers’ demands. A tripartite meeting has been held between the government, Freeport management and workers, but the workers have still not succeeded in reaching an agreement.
Since the strike began on September 15, there have been numerous incidents of pressure and intimidation against the workers, either directly by the Freeport management or through the arrogant actions of the police and the Mobile Brigade (Brimob).
This includes the attempted shooting of PT Freeport Indonesia All Indonesia Workers Union (SPSI) chairperson Sudiro on September 11, the removal of employees’ rights through the “No Work, No Pay” letter, pressure on striking workers and apprentices to leave Tembagapura, contract workers being forced to work for 12 hours straight to meet production losses during the strike, replacing contract workers with as many as 100 strike breakers sent from Jakarta by the companies PT. Tri Parta Jakarta and PT. Komaritim, forced removals from the workplace and employees being forcibly picked up at their homes using DS-1643 and DS-1500 vehicles.
There has also been intimidation from PT Freeport Indonesia foreign workers through Deputy President Director John Hollow (a US citizen) who signed a letter stating that 200 permanent workers were to be laid off. The systematic threats of dismissals by the company management have been supported by the police, Brimob and Freeport security.
In one instance this involved a Freeport level 1 staff member “X”, who was not prepared to give their name because they were concerned for their personal and family’s security. X received a letter of temporary release from duties (RFD) dated September 24 from a superior. X was accused of spreading confidential company information in violation of company regulations. X was deemed to be indirectly involved because X provided the confidential company information (related to employee wages) that trigged the dispute between workers and management. Two days later on September 26, X was forcibly picked up at the Tembagapura employees barracks and then transported to Timika by the management at 6.10pm local time escorted by a Brimob officer, a superior who is well known to X, two security personnel and a company driver. X stayed overnight at the PT Freeport base camp near the Timika airport and the following day was then sent back to his home town.
The example above is evidence that the Freeport management is more interested in throwing money at security personnel that comprise members of the police and Brimob to “safeguard their assets” than pay decent wages to their workers who have worked for and served company for decades. In addition to demands for wage increases, the strikers are also reasonable healthcare facilities for workers.
The Coalition for the Freeport Indonesia Workers’ Struggle therefore states:
1. The management must immediately increase workers wages from US$1.5 an hour to US$3 per hour.
2. The management must provide the same facilities to local workers as those given to foreign workers (healthcare services, education for workers’ children)
3. It is the worker’s right to go on strike and the management does not have the right to dismiss workers that are on strike.
4. Foreign employees working at PT Freeport Indonesia do not have the right to become involved in issues between workers and the management. This is in conflict with the legal principles contained in the 2003 Labour Law and if they continue to do so, the government must deport the foreign workers concerned.
5. The police and Brimob do not have the right to become involved in industrial affairs between the management and workers, as regulated under Article 143 of the 2003 Labour Law.
Jakarta, 28 September 2011
Coalition for the Freeport Indonesia Workers’ Struggle:
The Papua Student Alliance (AMP), the Papuan Traditional Social Community Against Corruption (Kampak Papua), the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), the Indonesian Association of the Families of Missing Persons (Ikohi), the Papua NGO Cooperative Forum (Foker LSM Papua), the Working People’s Association (PRP), the People’s Liberation Party (PPR), the National Trade Union Preparatory Committee (KP-KSN), the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), the Indonesian People’s Opposition Front (FORI), the Student Action Union (KAMLAKSI), the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Jakarta), the Indonesian Transportation Trade Union of Struggle (SBTPI), the Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (PEMBEBASAN), Praxis, the Semanggi Student Action Front (FAMSI), the Strategic State-Owned Enterprises Federation (FED BUMN Strategis), the Indonesian Pulp and Paper Trade Union Federation (FSP2KI), the West Java Federated Trade Union
for Justice (FSPK Jabar), the Central Java Indonesian Farmers Federation Union (FSPI Jateng), the Banten Primary Industries Trade Union Federation (FSBKU Banten), the South Sulawesi Nusantara Trade Union Alliance (GSBN Sulsel), the South Sulawesi Indonesian Federated Trade Union of Struggle (FSPBI Sulsel), the North Sumatra Plantation Workers Trade Union (Serbuk Sumut), Perbumi North Sumatra (Perbumi Sumut), the East Java People Based Trade Union (SBK Jatim), the Sidoarjo Independent Trade Union (SBM Sidoarjo), the Malang Independent Trade Union (SBM Malang), the Working People’s Association-Organisational Saviours Committee (KPO-PRP) and the United Indonesian Labour Movement (PPBI).
[Translated by James Balowski.]
- Freeport Indonesia, Union Pay Talks Enter Third Day (westpapuamedia.info)
- Reports of Securicor being used to break the Freeport strike (westpapuamedia.info)
- Union makes move to end Freeport strike (westpapuamedia.info)
- Strike pressures PT Freeport Indonesia into serious negotiations (westpapuamedia.info)
- Freeport Mine Managers turn rabid on Indonesian Grasberg Strikers (westpapuamedia.info)
Monday, 02 May 2011 21:02
Editor: Ans / Jubi)
Hundreds of dock workers demonstrated on Monday at the Port of Merauke, demanding wage increases from $US8 (70,000 rupiah) to $US23 (R200,000) per each ship unloaded.
The demonstration went ahead from 7am resulting in delays of the loading and unloading of goods and congestion at the port. The demonstration was peaceful.
“Around eleven years we have work loading and unloading ship, for only 70,000rupiah ($US8). It is very hard and exhausting work. The relevant authorities should attend to this.” demanded Yohanes T at the port yesterday.
The chairman of the dock workers union (TKMB) in Merauke said his organisation were not involved in the demonstration, described as action taken by freelance workers, stating “It’s outside my responsibility. Please check with the Port Authorities (Adpel) or others”.
He reported the demonstrations did not interfere with the activities in
the port area, and the hundreds of workers within his organisation were able to perform their duties, he reported that “The demonstrating workers were kept outside and not allowed to enter the port” (ans)