Strike extended at Freeport McMoRan mine in Indonesia

TIMIKA, Indonesia, July 8, 2011 (AFP) - Workers at US company Freeport McMoRan's massive gold and copper mine in Indonesia's Papua region plan to extend a strike by a week, an official said Friday.

"The union has requested a plan to extend its strike until July 18," said Dionisius Mameyau, a Labour office chief in eastern Papua province, who received a letter informing him of plans to extend the strike.

More than 8,000 workers from the company started a week-long strike on Monday to demand better wages, prompting a disruption in production.

Negotiations between the union and Freeport, which is still in a deadlock, will resume on Monday.

The Freeport mine sits on some of the world's richest gold reserves and the US company's local subsidiary is the largest single taxpayer to the Indonesian government.

Papua, a resource-rich region on the western end of New Guinea island, has been the site of a low-level separatist insurgency since its incorporation into Indonesia in the 1960s.

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