Timika, Jubi – Freeport workers from seven Mimika tribes blocked road access to Ridge Camp, mile 72 in a protest demanding PT Freeport Indonesia establish an organization representing its workers.
Mimika Regent Eltinus Omaleng said he hoped PT FI would meet the workersí demands. The blockage started on Wednesday (8/10) at around 01:00 Papua time.
Sitting on the ground, they set up shelters and parked heavy vehicles to block access to some mining areas.
The next morning, at around 09:00 Papua time, Omaleng visited the scene on a helicopter in order to meet and hear the workersí demand. After the meeting, the regent said the workers asked PT FI to pay attention to their welfare by setting up a special department to address their needs.
“So, the point is they want to be rewarded. It means they have a representing organization. They asked the company for a legitimate organization. And they have waited for four years,” Omaleng told reporters.
Based on the conversation with the workers, Omaleng said PT FI Director Rozik Sucipto had promised a special department for the workers, but it never materialized.
After meeting the regent, the workers agreed to lift the blockade.
“We also want to take them to Jakarta, so they can voice their demands the Freeport board,” said the regent.
Omaleng said the workers asked for a meeting with the company on 10 October, and warned that if they get no response, they would hold a huge protest.
“If it happened, Freeport would be closed. Because it’s the landowner’s children who speak. I hope Freeport will take it seriously. It’s not just a game,” the regent said.
Meanwhile, PT FI could not be reached for comment.
The seven tribes are Amungme, Kamoro, Dane, Mee, Damal, Nduga and Moni. (Eveerth/rom)