The Copper Mine Workers Union Las Bambas in Peruof China’s MMG Ltd, agreed to begin an indefinite strike starting Nov. 28 after the firm failed to attend a meeting to discuss the issue of profits for workers, said union leader Erick Ramos.
The leader told Reuters that the company should have provided the union with information regarding its 2023 profit projection at an appointment scheduled for earlier Monday, but “the meeting did not take place.”
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Las Bambas, which began operations in 2016, is one of the largest copper producers in Peru, the world’s second largest producer of the red metal.
“They (Las Bambas) had said before that there would be no profits this year, so if this is the case they would have to see a compensation mechanism for workers,” Ramos said.
Representatives from Las Bambas were not immediately available for comment on the indefinite strike announcement. Las Bambas produced some 221,160 tons of copper between January and September, 21.7% more compared to the same period last year, according to sources from the Ministry of Energy and Mines.
Production in Las Bambas has been recovering after stopping its operation at the beginning of the year due to the blockade of a road leading to and leaving the mine, following anti-government social protests following a change of power in the country.
Las Bambas also has a history of constant stoppages due to protests by poor communities demanding more benefits from the exploitation of resources. Since it began operating, it has had to stop its work for around 600 days.
Under normal conditions, the copper mine represents about 2% of the world’s supply of the metal.
Ramos said the union began a preventive strike on Sunday, which will end on Tuesday. “We are submitting the document of the union’s agreement to carry out an indefinite strike to the Ministry of Labor,” he added. The leader said that there are 1,020 unionized workers in the mining company.
Earlier, a source close to Las Bambas said that the strike that began on Sunday was being carried out “partially and peacefully.”
The company “is respectful of labor rights and works hard to ensure a safe work environment for its workers,” the source said, adding that the call for the current protest by workers had been declared “inadmissible” by the Ministry. of work.
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