Documentary Not Accurate: Freeport
The Jakarta Post, Friday, March 9, 2012
PT Freeport Indonesia is denying some of the claims made in the eye-opening documentary Alkinemokiye (From Struggle Dawns a New Hope) about large strikes by company workers last year.
The company’s vice president and chief administration director, Sinta Sirait, said that some information has been distorted in the 60-minute video.
Alkinemokiye tells the story behind the strike of more than a third ofreeport’s 22,000 local workers, carried out in the company’s largest gold and copper mining site in Papua to demand increased wages, in September to December last year.
However, Sinta claimed the film failed to get some fact rights and omitted information.
She referred to claims that the company neglected the livelihood of its employees by not providing decent housing facilities to workers, shown in an interview with one of protesting workers in front of his dilapidated house.
According to Sinta, the house featured in the film is not located in the area run by company, even though some workers live there.
Freeport was helping to developing the area, together with government, Sinta said.
“Our workers live in barracks, whose quality we continually maintain,” Sinta said.
She also disputed suggestions that the company has escaped its responsibilities, in regards to pensioners.
Sinta said that the company has paid all severance pay and even won a case in the Constitutional Court against disgruntled former employees.
The company also showed its disappointment over the documentary, saying it was biased and one-sided.
Freeport corporate communications head Daisy K. Primayanti said that the documentary has stirred internal conflict within the company.
“There are a lot of things that need to be straightened out. The internal impact is very bad. We deal with 22,000 workers and the film is on YouTube and everyone can access it,” she said.
However, the company did not comment on whether the documentary’s makers would be taken to court.
Sinta said that the company was trying to reach director Dandhy Dwi Laksono and to discuss film.
“We feel that we have not been given the chance to speak in the documentary,” she said.
In a previous interview, Dandhy explained that he intended to solely focus on the employees.
“We wanted to make it simple and we chose one point of view — and that came from the workers,” the filmmaker said.
Responding to Freeport’s complaints, Dandhy defended the documentary and said he was only providing background information and on-the-ground facts that could speak for themselves without his interference.
“The facts are what happen in front of the camera,” said the journalist-turned-documentary filmmaker, who is known for other investigative reports on illegal logging and the killing of human rights activist Munir.
Dandhy, named in 2008 as the best journalist from the Alliance of Independent Journalists, added the documentary was based on reliable data and information gathered during the film’s making.