11 October 2011

Workers Strike at Freeport Mine in West Papua

Indonesian Security forces have been accused of shooting and killing a protester and injuring dozens as they clashed with striking workers at the Freeport mine in West Papua.

Workers have been on strike for a month in their campaign for a pay increase from $2.10 to $7.50 an hour. Freeport is the world's largest copper and gold mine and the largest taxpayer to the Indonesian government.

Freeport has been a flashpoint many times over the last decade and highlights the tension in West Papua caused by the huge profits extracted from the resource rich province that deliver little benefits for the local people. Various accusation of corruption and racketeering have been made in previous incidents at the mine, including the murder of Australian man Drew Grant in 2009. The mine has also been blamed for environmental destruction and poising of nearby rivers.