Freeport Indonesia union says pay talks risk being deadlocked

JAKARTA Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:14am EDT

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JAKARTA Aug 28 (Reuters) - Pay talks between the Indonesian unit of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc and workers are in danger of ending in deadlock because the pay offer is too low, a spokesman for the worker's union said on Wednesday, increasing the risk of disruption and unrest at the world's second-biggest copper mine.

Pay talks involving workers from the remote Grasberg mining complex in Papua resumed in late June after being suspended following an accident that killed 28 people on May 14.

"Talks on renewal of 18th joint-work agreement for 2013-2015 is in danger of facing deadlock," union spokesman Juli Parorrongan said in a text message. "The pay rise offered by Freeport management is far below the workers' expectations."

Freeport Indonesia could not be immediately reached.

Talks on a new pay deal had been expected to last up to 60 days, with the current agreement due to end on Sept. 30, although a union official said last month that he expected the talks to reach an agreement by August.

Relations between Freeport and the union have been strained in recent years following a three-month strike in late 2011 as well as a series of minor spats.

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