Peru's Southern Copper workers mark 10 days on strike

Mine operating near capacity says company

LIMA (Reuters) — Workers at mining company Southern Copper in Peru completed their tenth day of an indefinite strike on Wednesday, though the company said it had not significantly impacted output.

Jorge Campos, the secretary general of the Unified Union of Workers of Southern Copper, said some 3,000 workers have walked off the job demanding a greater share of profits and more medical benefits.

"We are completing 10 days of a general indefinite strike... the company is sending letters of dismissals to the workers and other measures of intimidation when the administrative processes in the strike have not even been completed," Campos told reporters after visiting Peru's Congress.

A Southern Copper representative said the strike had not "significantly" affected production as the company was operating at 92 per cent capacity on average in Peru and had sub-contracted workers. The refinery was operating at 100 per cent capacity, the company said.

Campos said workers and the company would attend talks with Peru's labour ministry on Thursday.

Southern Copper operates the Toquepala and Cuajone mines and the Ilo refinery in Peru. Toquepala and Cuajone, both in southern Peru, together produced some 310,000 tonnes of copper last year, according to government data.

Southern Copper, owned by Grupo Mexico, boosted its copper output by 21 per cent to 900,000 tonnes last year on the back of an expansion at a mine in Mexico.

Latest stories