LIMA – Workers at Southern Copper, in Peru, said they completed a ninth day of an indefinite strike on Wednesday, following a failed negotiation attempt with the company.
The walkout, which involved 3 000 members of two out of the five Southern Copper unions in Peru, has been declared illegal by the labour ministry.
Southern Copper, owned by Grupo Mexico operates the Toquepala and Cuajone mines in Peru, as well as the Ilo refinery, and produced 900 000 t of copper last year. Peru is the world's No 2 copper producer.
"There was a meeting with company representatives, but we did not reach an agreement because they do not offer a solution to our demands," union leader Fidel Roman said in an interview.
Workers are seeking a better share of miners' profits, and say Southern Copper has not adhered to benefits agreed to after a prior strike, including the replacement of dismissed workers.
"The strike continues, and we expect a new meeting in Lima with representatives of the company and the labour ministry to achieve a solution," Roman said.
Southern Copper did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company said last week the strike had not affected operations at its mines. There are three smaller unions that did not participate in the strike.
Southern Copper's shares listed in New York were down 2.1% in mid-afternoon trading on Wednesday.