(Adds comments from company, union leader)
LIMA, March 5 (Reuters) - Workers at the Cajamarquilla zinc smelter in Peru, controlled by Brazilian miner Nexa Resources SA , started an indefinite strike on Monday to demand a wage increase and better benefits, a union leader said.
The union’s secretary general, Simon Diaz, said the strike started at 7:30 (12:30 GMT) and has curbed production as it forced some furnaces at the smelter to stop operating.
Nexa Resources, previously known as Votorantim Metais Holding SA, said less than 20 percent of Cajamarquilla’s workforce took part in the strike.
“We believe our production will not be affected, since we adopted mitigation measures beforehand,” the company said in a statement, adding that it was working to reach an agreement with the union.
Talks between union leaders and management mediated by labor ministry officials ended with no agreement on Monday but will continue on Tuesday, Diaz said.
Cajamarquilla, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Lima, produced some 312,000 tonnes of zinc last year, about 8.5 percent less than in 2016, according to government data.
Reporting By Marco Aquino and Mitra Taj; Editing by Diane Craft and Richard Chang