Stop the next Marikana massacre

The situation at Indonesia's Freeport mine is desperate

After workers went on strike at a mine managed by Freeport-McMoRan in May, the company fired them and cut their health coverage. Seven people have died as a result, and 4,200 miners and their families are suffering desperately.

Tell Freeport-McMoRan to reinstate the fired workers, and stop a desperate situation getting any worse.

Sign the Petition


Right now, there’s a social crisis at the giant Grasberg gold and copper mine in West Papua, Indonesia. A recent solidarity mission by IndustriALL found workers and... their families have been without income, access to credit, accommodation, education or medical care for more than half a year.

US mining giant Freeport-McMoRan fired 4,200 workers at the mine in May, for striking in protest over layoffs. The company says workers “voluntarily resigned” -- but it’s basically playing games with the Indonesian government about investments, and using workers as pawns. The details are complex, but the consequences for workers and their families are clear.

Trade unions around the world have helped get the story into influential financial press, but the crisis on the ground continues to get more desperate by the day. We urgently need to add our voices for cool-headed negotiations now, before the situation explodes.

Ask Freeport-McMoRan to reinstate the workers in their jobs, and for the Government of Indonesia to insist on this in their negotiations.

Earlier in August, striking mine workers blockaded entrances to the mine, demanding that the company negotiate with them. The local police chief stated that the army would be deployed to maintain order, after the blockades ended in violent clashes.

The current crisis adds pressure to an already volatile situation. The Grasberg mine is controversial for a number of human rights and environmental reasons, and the sovereignty of West Papua is contested, sometimes violently. In the past, Freeport-McMoRan has used the Indonesian army to provide security, and a number of people have been killed in clashes.

The strike is the result of a dispute between Freeport and the Indonesian government over long-term control of the mine. The Indonesian government wants a 51 per cent stake in the mine, and cancelled Freeport’s export permits when the company refused. In response, Freeport slowed production and began laying off workers, triggering the strike.

Thousands of people find themselves in an extremely precarious situation. The Grasberg mining crisis has created tension and instability in the region, including armed attacks on the main access road to the mine.

Ask US mining giant Freeport-McMoRan to reinstate the workers in their jobs, and for the Government of Indonesia to insist on this in their negotiations.

SumOfUs members have reached across the seas in solidarity with mining communities before -- in Indonesia, Australia, South Africa, Nicaragua, and El Salvador, to name a few. Freeport-McMoRan has powerful investors like billionaire Carl Icahn on its side, and the Indonesian government may think that what happens in West Papua stays there. But we have our social networks and friends, and together we can expose their cynical games to the world before it gets any worse.

Sign the Petition

Thanks for all that you do,
Eoin, Wiebke, and the team at SumOfUs

Seven die at Grasberg mine after Freeport cuts health coverage
IndustriAll Global Union. 23 November 2017. Union federation accuses Freeport of treating 'fired' Indonesia mine workers 'with contempt'
Reuters. 11 August 2017.

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