Monthly Archives: September 2011

Hundreds of Papua State Museum`s Exhibits Damaged

The curator of Papua`s State Museum, Sukardi, said 700 of the museum`s exhibits were now in damaged condition due to inadequate maintenance.

“Of our 3,447 museum exhibits, 200 are in seriously and 500 others in lightly damaged condition,” Sukardi said in Jayapura on Saturday (24/9).

He said most of the museum`s exhibits consisted of organic materials and the damage to hundreds of them had happened because he as the curator did not have enough funds to maintain them properly.

“Most of the organic material exhibits were damaged by termites,” he said.

Sukardi, who participated in work to restore the Borobudur temple in Central Java in the 1980s, said he had many times asked for a greater budget for maintenance purposes through Papua`s provincial culture and tourism office but so far there had been no serious response.

Therefore, the thousands of exhibits at the museum which was inaugurated by Culture and Tourism Minister Fuad Hasan in the 1990s, were now being maintained in simple or low-cost ways.

“We now only do maintenance work in simple ways because our budget falls short of what is appropriate,” he said.

The lack of funds for maintenance had happened since the class-A museum came under the purview of Jayapura district`s culture and tourism office in 2000.

“When the museum was supervised by the National Museum Organization or central government, we used to receive a maintenance budget of Rp50,000 per exhibit but this was stopped after the Jayapura district`s culture and tourism office took over,” he said.

Damage to the hundreds of museum pieces was also caused by the high humidity level of the air in the area where the museum was located and the fact that the building was adjacent to a public transport sub-station on its right and front sides.

“The inadequate budget for maintenance, the high air humidity level, the sticky dust produced by the mass transportation vehicles at the sub-station, all contributed to the deterioration of the conditions of the museum exhibits,” he said.

“We hope the provincial and district administrations will eventually pay more attention to our problem. If the damage suffered by the hundreds of museum pieces is not repaired or allowed to continue, they will eventually be lost, yet they are objects representing Papuans` identity and history,” he added.

Source: ANTARA News

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Freeport Strikers to Rally After Government-Led Talks Stall

Workers at Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. in Indonesia’s Grasberg mine will rally on Sept. 29 after failing to agree on pay increases in government-brokered talks last week, as the strike continues, a union official said.

About half of 8,000 non-staff workers at Grasberg in Papua province, who have walked out of jobs since Sept. 15, will join the protest, said Virgo Solossa, head of organizational affairs at PT Freeport Indonesia’s labor union.

Workers in Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Indonesia have gone on strike at copper, gold and zinc mines this year, seeking improved conditions and a bigger slice of record profits after metal prices more than doubled since the end of 2008. The strike at Grasberg, which has the world’s largest recoverable reserves of copper, has raised concern it may widen a global deficit and boost prices.

“We have conducted a peaceful stoppage in the 12 days of strike, but the management doesn’t appreciate that and has declared that our activity is illegal,” Solossa said in a telephone interview from Timika, the closest town to Grasberg. “We want to show that we remain solid and will question the ‘no work no pay’ note from management as well as sanctions against several strikers, to the manpower office in the rally.”

Freeport, based in Phoenix, will uphold its legal right not to pay employees on a day where workers do not report to work, Freeport Indonesia said in an internal newsletter posted on its website dated Sept. 22. The right is stated in the 2003 labor law, Ramdani Sirait, a Jakarta-based spokesman at Freeport, said in a mobile-phone text message today.

Freeport and the union at Grasberg ended 38 days of talks over 2011-2013 contract terms on Aug. 26 after failing to agree on wages. Negotiations started after the workers put down tools for eight days in July. The mine is located in Papua province, 1,940 miles (3,120 kilometers) east of Jakarta.

Estimated Loss

Three-month delivery copper declined 4.6 percent to $7,020 a ton on the London Metal Exchange at 3:03 p.m. Jakarta time. The metal fell as much as 7.6 percent earlier.

Freeport will lose 3 million pounds (1,361 metric tons) of copper and 5,000 ounces of gold a day because of the strike, the Phoenix-based company said Sept. 21. Indonesia’s government estimated a potential loss of 230,000 tons of ore a day.

Copper production at the mine fell to 1.22 billion pounds (553.4 million kilograms) last year from 1.41 billion pounds in 2009, according to Freeport’s website. Gold output declined to 1.79 million ounces from 2.57 million ounces.

Grasberg workers are seeking an increase in wages to between $17.50 and $43 an hour from $1.50 to $3.50, Solossa said Sept. 14. The union had initially sought a raise of $35 to $200 an hour. Freeport offered a compensation package that includes an increase in basic wages of 22 percent over a two-year period, Sirait said on Sept. 5.

Source: Bloomberg

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CEO: Freeport will not pay striking workers

PT Freeport Indonesia management has decided not to pay its workers on strike since September 15, the company`s president director and CEO Armando Mahler said.

“We all know that the workers strike started on September 15 at 00:00 eastern Indonesia standard time (WIT). And we decided not to pay them, no work, no pay,” he said here on Saturday night (17/9).

On Thursday (Sept. 15), thousands of Freeport employees left the mining site of Tembagapura for Timika to begin a one month strike to demand a salary rise.

Mahler also explained that the salaries of PT Freeport`s workers who launched a strike in last July were paid because they promised to resume working.

“It (salary) was paid only based on the company`s good intention. But in the second strike, we warned them not to pay their wages if they stopped working,” Mahler disclosed.

Previously, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Darwin Saleh said the ongoing strike at PT Freeport was causing a potential loss of 19 million US dollars per day to the US gold and copper mining company in Papua.

“The 19 million US dollar potential loss is sustained by unrealized daily sales,” the minister said at a press conference here on Friday (16/9).

In addition, the Indonesian government also lost an estimated 6.7 million US dollars per day, he said.

Freeport produces 230,000 tons of copper concentrates daily. The concentrates besides copper, also contained gold and silver.

Minister Darwin and the ministry`s Director General of Minerals and Coal Thamrin Sihite flew to Papua immediately after the press conference.

The minister expressed optimism that the manpower and transmigration ministry would be able to help solve the problem that caused the workers strike.

Source: ANTARA News

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MRP chairman for 2011-2016 sworn in

Papuan caretaker governor Syamsul Arief Rivai presided over the swearing in of the new chairman of the Papuan Legislative Assembly (MRP) on Thursday (15/9). Timotius Murib, who represents the required traditional branch, assumed office as chairman, while Hofni Simbiak, fulfilling the religious component, and Angelbertha Kotorok, the women’s component, were sworn in as first and second deputy chairpersons, respectively.

“The duties to be carried out by the MRP include the selection of indigenous candidates for the upcoming Papuan gubernatorial elections,” Syamsul said.

“We will check the lineage of each indigenous candidate in line with Papua’s Special Autonomy Law. All candidates have to meet certain criteria for the candidacy in line with existing regulations,” Timotius said.

Thursday’s swearing in annulled the results of a vote by 73 MRP members from Papua and West Papua, reached on June 30, 2011, when Dorkas Dwaramuri was chosen as the chairman, and Herman Saud and Timotius Murib as the first and second deputy chairmen, respectively.

Source: the Jakarta Post

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Freeport familiarizing Jayapura schoolers with environmental awareness

PT Freeport Indonesia in cooperation with the Jayapura City administration is conducting a program to familiarize local primary and secondary school students with environment-related subjects under the theme “Towards Environmentally Aware Schools.”

The head of the PT Freeport Indonesia representative office, Anthon Raharusun, said that the program was a manifestation of the company`s constant attention to the environment and part of its efforts to work in partnership with local stakeholders.

“We have been doing a lot of cooperation with various parties as well as local administrations and private sectors, not only in Papua but also throughout Indonesia, especially in terms of environmental problems. Because PT Freeport Indonesia is concerned about the environment,” he said.

He also hoped the cooperation with the Jayapura city administration can be done continuously in the future, not just familiarization for schools but also for regional task force units.

“All parties who wish to conserve the environment can cooperate with Freeport,” he said.

The supervisor for environmental awareness and education of PT Freeport, Jimmy Rumainum, said the environmental awareness familiarization program for primary and junior high school students was also aimed at creating an environment-based school (locally named Adiwiyata).

“The activity itself in Jayapura city is still in its early stage but in Mimika district and several other areas in Papua it was in an advanced stage. In fact, in Mimika there is already an Adiwiyata school,” he said.

Meanwhile, the vice mayor of Jayapura city, Nur Alam, on behalf of the city administration welcomed the concept of cooperation and initiatives offered by PT Freeport Indonesia.

Moreover, the administration has outlined the Five-Year Development Program (2011-2016) of Jayapura City, among others, the Clean and Beautiful City, and Lighting the City in the night.

“Many things can be supported by PT Freeport as a world class company. We hope the activities that give positive values ​​such as this can become a sustainable program,” he said.

The Freeport program is highly synergistic with Jayapura city administration`s work program, so it can join hands to save the environment in Jayapura city area,” he added.

Source: AntaraNEWS

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Workers` strike causing US$9 mln potential loss daily to Freeport

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Darwin Zahedy Saleh said the ongoing workers strike at PT Freeport was causing a potential loss of 19 million US dollars per day to the US gold and copper mining company in Papua.

“The 19 million US dollar potential loss is from the value of unrealized daily sales,” the minister said at a press conference here on Friday (16/9).

In addition, the Indonesian state was also losing at an estimated rate of 6.7 million US dollars per day, he said.

Freeport produces 230,000 tons of copper concentrates daily. The concentrates contain gold and silver, apart from copper.

Minister Darwin and the ministry`s Director General of Minerals and Coal Thamrin Sihite flew to Papua immediately after the press conference.

The minister expressed optimism that the manpower and transmigration ministry would be able to help solve the problem that caused the workers strike.

“We will encourage and facilitate efforts for the solution of the problem,” Minister Darwin said.

The government was determined to maintain the current conducive investment climate, he said.

“We are not siding with any party. The workers` rights and the level of their income must be maintained,” he said.

Ramdani Sirait, a spokesman of PT Freeport, earlier said the negotiation process between the management and workers` representatives would be shifted to Jakarta, as suggested by the manpower and transmigration ministry.

“We hope there will be progress toward an agreement,” he said.

PT Freeport Indonesia currently has around 22,800 workers. The company contributed 1.9 billion US dollars in tax and non-tax payments to the state in 2010.

It has also spent capital and routine expenses amounting to 2.1 billion US dollars.

Last Thursday (Sept. 15), thousands of Freeport employees left the mining site of Tembagapura for Timika to begin a one month strike to demand a salary rise.

According to one of the giant mining company`s employees, Oktovianus Hisage, the workers` exodus started at 6 am local time.

“Some 44 employee buses carrying 60 employees have arrived in Timika, while 11 other buses are on their way to Timika where they are expected to arrive at noon,” Oktovianus said in Timika, Papua, Thursday.

Freeport`s underground mining operations have been totally halted since Wednesday at 10.30 pm local time, Oktavianus said.

Source: AntaraNEWS

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Thousands of Freeport employees leave Tembagapura

Thousands of Freeport employees left the mining site of Tembagapura for Timika to begin a one month strike.

According to one of the giant mining company`s employees, Oktovianus Hisage the exodus started at 6 am local time.

“Some 44 employee buses carried 60 employees have arrived in Timika, while 11 other buses are on their way to Timika at noon,” Oktovianus said here Thursday (15/9).

Oktovianus added that thousands of other Freeport employees are waiting for their buses in Tembagapura to bring them to Timika.

“There are about 100 buses in Tembagapura, along with 5.000 employees who are waiting to be transported to Timika,” he said.

Freeport`s underground mining production has been totally stopped since Wednesday at 10.30 pm local time, Oktavianus said.

Oktavianus also said that so far the management of PT Freeport did not intimidate its employees as previously rumored in which every employee who are going to Timika had their identity cards canceled.

The workers union of PT Freeport (SPSI PUK) spokesman Julius Parorongan said that the mobilization of employees will be done gradually.

“The mobilization will be done today until they all have arrived in Timika,” said Julius.

For the safety of the striking Freeport employees who arrived at Gorong-gorong Terminal, Timika, the Mimika Police have deployed at least 70 personnel and members of the Mimika Police Mobile Brigade led by police chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner Hasan Timpa.

Meanwhile at the Kuala Kencana Check Point gate, some Freeport employees began to build tents for shelter because they are prohibited to enter the Alun-alun Office Building (OB) 1 Kuala Kencana.

Source: AntaraNEWS

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