* Current pay deal due to end on Sept. 30
* Pay offer is below workers' expectations, says union
* Freeport says it has given a fair offer to the union
JAKARTA, Aug 28 Pay talks between the Indonesian
unit of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc and its
workers are in danger of ending in deadlock because the pay
offer is too low, a spokesman for the worker's union said on
A stalemate would increase the risk of disruption and unrest
at Freeport's Indonesian mine Grasberg, the world's
second-biggest copper mine, which resumed some production in
late June after being shut for almost six weeks following a
tunnel collapse on May 14 that killed 28 people.
Pay talks involving workers from the remote Grasberg mining
complex in Papua resumed in late June after being suspended
following the tunnel collapse.
"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."
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.
Up for discussion are workers' wages, benefits, rights,
obligations and pensions, although the exact pay demand is
"We feel that what we have given a fair offer to the union
and we continue to approach the negotiations with a spirit of
accommodation, open-mindedness and goodwill to find a solution
that is reasonable to all parties," Freeport spokeswoman Daisy
Primayanti said in an email.
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.
In June, trade union workers called off a planned strike
after last-minute talks brokered a deal over a letter workers
sent to the Freeport management demanding five senior Indonesian
employees be suspended after May's tunnel collapse.
Freeport Indonesia employs about 24,000 workers, of which
three-quarters belong to the union.