Workers at Shougang Hierro will strike Oct. 9-union
LIMA Oct 4 (Reuters) - Workers of Shougang Hierro Peru, a unit of China's Shougang Group, will go on strike Oct. 9 to demand better wages and benefits, a union leader said on Thursday.
Workers at the iron ore mine in the southern region of Ica are asking for a raise of 10 soles per day (US$3.85) on top of basic wages, but the company has offered an increase of 2 soles ($0.77) per day, union leader Julio Ortiz said.
Ortiz said 1,100 workers would stop working for an indefinite period of time.
The union had originally planned the strike for the end of September but postponed it because authorities had not issued approval. Miluska Monzon with the labour ministry said the union now has permission to go on strike on Oct. 9.
Shougang general manager Raul Vera said he did not know the union had set a date for a strike and declined to comment.
Shougang's net profits in 2011 grew 50 percent to $1.2 billion over 2010.
Last year, Shougang workers in Peru stopped working for almost a month to secure higher wages and better working conditions. At that time the company declared force majeure, which exempted it from contractual obligations on delivery of metals.
Shougang is the only iron ore producer in Peru, where minerals account for 60 percent of export earnings. According to the mining ministry, the company produced 7.01 million tons of iron last year.