Jakarta – The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has sent a warning letter to gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia after it laid off 4,000 employees.
The layoffs took place following a strike by Freeport Indonesia workers belonging to the All-Indonesia Workers Union Confederation (KSPSI) from May 1 to June 16 in Mimika regency, Papua, the site of the gold and copper mine.
The ministry has demanded that Freeport Indonesia act in accordance with labor laws, said the ministry's coal and mineral mining director general, Bambang Gatot Ariyono, on Sunday.
"We have warned [Freeport] to abide by the law when dismissing [employees]," Bambang said as quoted by tribunnews.com in Jakarta on Sunday.
Separately, Freeport has claimed it followed regulations when laying off the employees. "We took action in accordance with the guidelines and laws on industrial relations," said Freeport Indonesia spokesman Riza Pratama.
The company, for example, called on the striking employees to return to work, said Riza, adding that the law allowed a company to terminate employees who were absent and ignored a company's summons for five consecutive days. Freeport said the company would not pay compensation to the laid-off employees.
Freeport Indonesia also let go 2,000 employees in February in a company efficiency program. The employees, however, were offered early retirement packages and furloughs. (dea/bbn)