PT Freeport Indonesia, 81.28% owned by U.S Gold and Copper company Freeport-McMoran, is the world's largest producer of Gold and Copper, with its mines located in the Indonesian Province of Papua.
Freeport started mining Copper in the late '60s, but after several years it admitted that it has also been mining Gold.
Today, more than 40 years later, very large quantity of Gold and Copper have been mined and shipped to many countries of the world, making Freeport and its owners getting more richer every day.
Platts reported that Freeport's Copper production rose to 284 Million Lbs, in the January-February quarter from 279 lbs a year earlier. Gold output increased to 441,000 oz from 429,000 oz last year. Their first half
production figures were not available.
Freeport estimates its 2011 sales to hit 1 billion lbs of Copper and 1.3
million troy oz of Gold. WOW!
Unfortunately, Freeport's profit is not felt by its workers, therefore causing them to protests for better wages and working conditions.
Last July, around 8,000 workers went on strike disrupting production and halted ore shipments at the time. The workers union had then asked for a review of workers wages and welfare and also cancel the plan to fire some union members from the company's board.
But considering that Freeport has not given in to the workers demand on wage adjustments, the workers union has informed the company that around 11,025 workers plan to go on strike from 15 September to 15 October.
Meanwhile, a Freeport spokesman asked the union to keep on negotiating, saying that since negotiations started on 20 July, it has offered a good compensation package for the workers. When annualized, the package will amount to
26 times the basic monthly wage [excluding overtime]. In addition, other
benefit increases include more value for housing loans, bonuses for shift
work, and educational assistance for their dependent children.
I hope that the Indonesian government, which also own Freeport's shares, will persuade Freeport to give much better compensation package for the workers.