Jayapura, Jubi – Freeport Indonesia workers held a protest for the second time in Mile 72 that connecting Tembagapura and Freeport mining area on Wednesday (2/9/2020) demanding the corporate to pay additional incentive for those who keep working during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A protester contacted by Jubi on Wednesday evening said the workers decided to start a demonstration in Mile 72 on Wednesday at 8 pm Papua time. He said the blockage of Mile 72 causing the access road from Tembagapura to the gold mining site closed.
"We, the workers, got angry and decided to block the main route to the Freeport production area. Therefore, the mining activities once again disrupted and the production stopped," said a source who asked his name to remain anonymous on WhatsApp to Jubi.
Another protester said the demonstration held on Wednesday evening was related to the incentive disbursement to workers who have been working for seven months during the Covid-19 pandemic. Last week, they accepted the corporate's word to pay their incentive on 31 August 2020.
"We (who demand the incentive) are not only one or two persons. Thousands of us request the management to pay the incentive to workers who keep working during the Covid-19 immediately," he said.
According to him, the protesters have a shelter in Mile 72. "The protesters are still building the tent and blocking the road with two heavy equipment," he said.
Tembagapura is a residential and office compound of Freeport where located in Mile 66, Tembagapura Sub-district, Mimika Regency, Papua. Tembagapura becomes a temporary resident for workers who are not in shifting hours. If the road blockage by the protesters has effectively happened, Freeport workers from Tembagapura cannot access their working site.
Last week, Freeport Indonesia workers held the same protest at Mile 72 and blocked the road. However, the demonstration and road blockage ended on Friday (28/8/2020) after the corporate management agreed to fulfil their requests, namely to provide busses to transport the off-duty workers to Tembagapura and provide an incentive for those who work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
When confirmed on Wednesday evening, Vice President Corporate Communication Riza Pratama said he could not affirm the information regarding the second protest and blockage at Mile 72. "We are still looking for information and confirmation from the employees," he replies Jubi's message on WhatsApp.(*)