USW Demands Fair Wages at Freeport-McMoRan in Indonesia

Pitssburgh, PA–(ENEWSPF)–October 31, 2011.  Steelworkers demanding fair wages for thousands of workers on strike at a Freeport-McMoRan mine in Indonesia held a demonstration at the company’s headquarters in Phoenix today.

Around 10,000 workers have been on strike for higher wages since mid-September at Grasberg, the world’s largest gold mine in Papua, Indonesia. The majority of the miners earn on average little over $2 per hour, according to the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions.

Freeport-McMoRan recently reported nearly $3 billion in net income for the first 6 months of 2011.

Two of the strikers were killed and eight others wounded by police on October 10 while participating in the strike activity. The Indonesian police chief admitted today that police who guard the mining site receive money from the company, and the company’s financial reports disclose that the company pays millions for security at the mine, 

Holding signs that said “Shame on You Freeport” and “Freeport Wages not Bullets”, a couple dozen Steelworkers joined with fifty community allies marched from the Occupy Phoenix encampment to the Freeport-McMoRan headquarters.

The United Steel Workers (USW) represents around 260 workers at Freeport-McMoRan’s Chino mine in New Mexico.