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Freeport Indonesia, union reach tentative agreement in pay talks

JAKARTA, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc and its Indonesian union workers have reached a tentative agreement in pay talks for the 2013-2015 period, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The deadline for a deal between workers and management at Freeport's Grasberg mine in Papua, the world's second- biggest copper mine, was supposed to be earlier this month, with one union warning it could order workers to strike.

"We welcome the outcome of these negotiations which has been reached peacefully without having to go through a strike," Freeport Indonesia Workers Union chairman Sudiro said.

Freeport Indonesia employs about 24,000 workers including contractors and staff. About three-quarters are union members.

Once all terms are agreed upon, the new labour agreement will be retroactive to October 1, 2013. Freeport expects the negotiating team to settle the remaining details before the end of October.