Timeline of Events Surrounding The Freeport Miners' Strike and The Third Papuan People's Congress

SEPT 15:

8,000 (about 70%) of workers of PT Freeport Indonesia, the Indonesian unit of US mining giant Freeport-McMoRan, launched a planned month-long strike at the Grasberg mining facilities in Timika, demanding salaries equivalent to what the Phoenix, Arizona-based company pays in other countries — a raise from between $2.10-$3.50/hour to as high as $17-$43/hour.

The strike is costing the Indonesian State up to $6.7 million in losses per day. The losses for Freeport-Mcmoran are estimated somewhere in the range of $19-30 million per day. By Freeport’s own estimation the impact of the strike to aggregate daily production is 3 million pounds of copper and 5000 ounces of gold for each day of the work stoppage. Several attempts to negotiate met with failure.

OCT 10:

Tensions rose as Freeport tried moving replacement workers into the mine workers’ barracks. Indonesian security forces opened fire on striking workers. Mine worker Petrus Ayamiseba was shot and killed. Six other workers were also injured from the shooting.

OCT 13:

Striking workers blockaded the only road leading to the Grasberg mining facilities preventing an influx of replacement workers, but also depriving holed-up staffers and their families of supplies.

OCT 17:

5000 Indigenous Papuans attended The 3rd Papuan People’s Congress in Jayapura. The three-day-long gathering was themed “Upholding Papuans’ basic rights now and in the future.”

Freeport announced it would suspend all mining operations, citing “suspected pipe sabotage” and “security concerns.”

OCT 19:

Indonesian security forces opened fire on the third and final day of the Papuan People’s Congress in Jayapura, where 20,000 people had gathered to hear delegates read a West Papuan Declaration of Independence. Several hundred people were arrested or detained, and several key West Papuan leaders were arrested, presumably, on charges of treason.

OCT 21:

Three people killed by gunmen are found near the mine. One of the men was a contract worker for Freeport. It s not clear whether this incident is linked to the strike.

OCT 26:

Freeport-McMoran says it is no longer “liable for contracts on sales from its strike-hit copper and gold mine”, declaring “force majeure.”

OCT 29:

The National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo admitted that security forces who guarded the Freeport-McMoRan mining site at Timika received money from the US mining company, of up to $14 million, describing the fees were paid to the police personnel as “meal money.”

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