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Union federation accuses copper miner Freeport of treating 'fired' workers 'with contempt'
August 11, 2017 / 4:21 AM / 3 months ago

Union federation accuses copper miner Freeport of treating 'fired' workers 'with contempt'

JAKARTA, Aug 11 (Reuters) - IndustriALL Global Union, a federation of global workers unions, said on Friday that the Indonesian unit of copper miner Freeport McMoRan Inc and copper smelter PT Smelting treated “fired” workers “inhumanely and with contempt”, urging both to reinstate the workers.

Following export restrictions related to a permit dispute, Freeport furloughed some 3,000 workers in Indonesia earlier this year, which prompted a strike and high levels of absenteeism.

Freeport later deemed that approximately 3,000 full-time and 1,000 contract employees who were absent had “voluntarily resigned.”

Arizona-based Freeport, the world’s biggest publicly-traded copper miner, has repeatedly said it has acted on labour issues in accordance with Indonesian law and its labour contract.

”In this case, resignations were an unfortunate consequence for a number of workers who had prolonged absenteeism from work despite multiple efforts and requests by the company to return to work,” Freeport said in a statement on Friday.

IndustriALL said in its statement that actions by both Freeport and PT Smelting were “clear violations” of workers’ rights to organise, bargain collectively, and strike, established in international labour law.

PT Smelting is majority owned by Japan’s Mitsubishi Materials Corp and part owned by Freeport. (Reporting by Wilda Asmarini in JAKARTA; Writing by Fergus Jensen in SINGAPORE)

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