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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs           12  July 2011

Strike at US mining giant ends

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Workers at US company Freeport McMoRan's giant gold and copper mine in Indonesia's Papua region agreed on Monday to end a strike that has lasted more than a week.

"We have signed an agreement with the employees. We hope they will resume to work soon," company spokeswoman Sinta Sirait said after talks ended late Monday.

More than 8,000 workers from the company went on strike on July 4 to demand better wages, disrupting production.

"Since the strike, the company's activities have been paralysed as production stopped. We don't know yet how long we will need to fix the installations damages," she said.

But the parties have not yet reached a deal over workers' demands on salary increases.

"There will be further negotiation after this," union chief Sudiro told reporters, adding that workers are expected to back to work in one or two days.

There are more than 11,000 employees at the mine, according to February data provided by the company's union. They asked the company to raise their salary as their current income was the lowest among McMoRan employees in other countries.

The Freeport mine sits on some of the world's richest gold reserves and the US company's local subsidiary is the largest single taxpayer to the Indonesian government.

Papua, a resource-rich region on the western end of New Guinea island, has been the site of a low-level separatist insurgency since its incorporation into Indonesia in the 1960s.

 


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ASEAN  ANALYSIS

This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

 

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