Jayapura, Jubi – Director of the Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) Emanuel Gobay asked the Papua Legislative Council (DPRP) to immediately fulfill its promise to form a special committee to resolve the dispute between gold and copper mining giant PT Freeport Indonesia and its former workers.
According to Gobay, the formation of a special committee has been promised by the DPRP speaker, Jhony Banua, since 2020. This special committee is expected to bridge the management of PT Freeport Indonesia and the workers so that both parties could negotiate to resolve the issue.
"We firmly ask the DPRP speaker to realize the special committee promised to resolve the Freeport dispute," he said.
Gobay said that following the unilateral layoff of Freeport workers who went on a strike, from 2017 to 2022, their wages and social security have not been paid and this had impacted the lives of their families and ignored the health rights of sick workers," he said.
In fact, Gobay said, in 2018 the Manpower Office of the Papua Province had declared that the strike of 8,300 workers was legal. "Even further, Governor Lukas Enembe also issued a letter confirming that the strike of Freeport workers was legal and ordered PT Freeport Indonesia employs its workers," Gobay told Jubi in a Whatsapp message on Monday, August 8, 2022.
Gobay said the labor strike case should have been resolved a long time ago but Freeport refused to negotiate up until today. Instead, Freeport has recently opened recruitment for new employees. "Freeport has no vision to protect workers and their families who depend on them," Gobay said.
Gobay said that if the DPRP could not resolve this issue, he hoped President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo could order the Minister of Manpower to facilitate negotiations between PT Freeport Indonesia with the workers.
"We ask President Jokowi, who has received a letter of recommendation from the National Commission on Human Rights [Komnas HAM] in 2017 and 2018, to follow up on the recommendation by ordering the Minister of Manpower to solve this problem," he said.