Peru strikers blockade Chinese iron ore mine

Peru strikers blockade Chinese iron ore mine

Wednesday, August 9th 2006

More than 600 subcontracted workers blocked entry on Tuesday to Peru’s only iron ore mine, Chinese-owned Shougang Hierro Peru , in a move that will hurt production, a company official said.

The subcontracted workers struck late on Monday, bringing forward an indefinite strike over pay planned for Tuesday after three colleagues were fired.

“The roads are closed, workers have not been able to enter the mine,” general manager Raul Vera told Reuters by telephone. “This … will affect production.”

Regular workers who successfully struck for a pay raise in June are not striking, but support their subcontracted colleagues’ demands for better treatment and are refusing to cross their picket line.

“We have not been able to go to work, we’re not working,” said Cirilo Yarihuaman, a leader of the regular leaders’ union.

The company said on Monday that subcontracted workers alone could not affect production by striking, because they performed mainly maintenance jobs, but that they could hurt output if they blocked other workers’ access to the mine.

Subcontracted workers were not immediately available for comment.

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