LIMA, Sept 26 A 48-hour nationwide strike in
Peru likely will not affect mineral output from Peru, although
many union mining workers picketed in Lima on Thursday to
protest changes to a pension program, union and company
officials said on Thursday.
The mining strike is part of a broader workers'
demonstration against President Ollanta Humala that filled the
streets of Lima, Peru's capital, streets with thousands of
protesters on Thursday.
Labor leaders confirmed that unions representing workers at
least at four operations - Southern Copper's Toquepala
mine, Shougang Hierro Peru's iron-ore mine,
Buenaventura's Antapite gold mine, and Newmont Mining's
Yanacocha gold mine - were participating in the strike,
which started early on Thursday.
But production at any of the mines will not likely be
interrupted, either because of company back-up plans or because
many workers were staying on the job, union leaders and company
"Production continues," the union leader of Yanacocha, Juan
Guillermo Navarro, said by phone from a protest.
Navarro said just 50 union members from a workforce of 1,800
at the Yanacocha mine were away from work protesting.
Mining union workers told Reuters they oppose a government
decree passed this year that they say broadens the number of
beneficiaries in a mining pension program, diluting eventual
"We hope the state takes us into account," Navarro said. "If
we are ignored we will have to call another assembly and discuss
more radical measures."
Ricardo Juarez, the secretary general of the national mining
workers federation, said he did not know by Thursday afternoon
how many workers total had joined the strike.
Julio Ortiz, the union leader at Shougang, said 1,078
workers out of about 1,200 total had left the mine to take part
in the strike.
"This is not affecting production because it was something
that was forecast," Raul Vera, Shougang's country manager, said.
Southern Copper also said it was prepared, and it was
implementing emergency measures to maintain output levels at its
Labor leaders representing workers for Freeport-McMoRan's
Cerro Verde mine, silver and zinc miner Volcan
and Southern Copper's Cuajone mine and Ilo refinery
said they agreed to take no part in the strike .