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.