The saga of Freeport Indonesia continues with the recent work termination carried out by Freeport Indonesia. The Head Executive of Freeport McMoran and Richard Adkerson, have announced the work termination of 10% out of 32,000 workforce, which is around 3,000 workers. Freeport would also change the status of 12,000 permanent employees to contract workers.
The President and CEO of Freeport McMoran, Richard C Adkerson, insist to maintain Contract of Work as regulated in Law of 2009 regarding Mineral and Coal Mining. Freeport has threatened to sue the Government of Indonesia through international arbitrage if the requirement to change the Contract of Work into Special Mining Business License (IUPK) persists.
Freeport’s move has stirred many reactions. One of them is a demonstration by Gerakan Solidaritas Peduli Freeport (Freeport Solidarity Movement) in front of the Ministry of ESDM during negotiation between the Government of Indonesia with PT. Freeport in March 7, 2017. The demonstration was carried out to demand the government of Indonesia to not force the convertion of Freeport’s contract from Contract of Work to IUPK.
The Government of Indonesia through the Ministry of energy and Mineral resources (ESDM) has been in a negotiation with PT Freeport Indonesia regarding this matter. The recent negotiation was held in the office of the Ministry of ESDM. The government of Indonesia was represented by Head of Negotiation Team, Teguh Pamudji, and Freeport is represented by Tony Wenas and Clementino Lamury as the Director.
The Government of Indonesia is stern about their position in the negotiation. The policies regarding Freeport would be referred back to the law and regulations. The Minister of Manpower, Hanif Dhakiri said that the issues arise from these matters should be negotiated solely between the government of Indonesia and Freeport, without the interference of the work terminations of Indonesian workforce as a tool to rpessure the government.
Moreover, if Freeport’s operation has been regulated by Contract of Work, in accordance with Article 24 Verse 2(b) they should have divested 51% of their shares to Indonesia 20 years after the signage. The fact that they can still operate until now and exports their produce is under the generosity of the government of Indonesia, said the Minister of Transportation, Budi Karya Sumadi.
GP Ansor also views Freeport has not contribute anything substantial after tens of years of exploration in Papua, either for the government nor the people of Papua. Hence, it is rather odd that the Freeport Solidarity Movement can exist while the focus should be the solidarity to papua and its people impacted by the Freeport explorations. The natural damage it self is very huge.