As feared Perus biggest mining union has gone on strike.
The National Federation of Mining, Metallurgy and Steel Workers which represents roughly 22,000 of the countrys 110,000 miners — followed through on its promise to strike on April 30 if the government didnt meet its demands.
In broad terms the federation wants increased wages and better job security. Specifically, it is demanding that President Alan Garcia follow through on his campaign promise to stop the outsourcing of jobs in the industry. It also wants shorter working days for its members and a profit sharing program started.
Despite concerns the strike would shut down production of base and precious metals, reports out of the country say mining at some of its largest projects hasnt been affected.
For now Denver-based miner Newmont Mining (NMC-T, NEM-N) can rest easy. A report from Reuters says workers at its 51.35% owned Yanacocha gold mine are not currently taking part in the strike. Compania de Minas Buenaventura (BVN-N) holds 43.65% of the project while the International Finance Corporation (IFC) arm of the World Bank holds the remaining 5%.
And its a similar situation over at Antamina – the country’s largest copper mine. Antamina is owned 33.75% by Xstrata (XTA-L), 33.75% by BHP Billiton (BHP-N, BLT-L), 22.5% Teck Cominco (TCK.A-T, TCK.B-T, TCK-N) and 10% Mitsubishi Corporation.
Miners there arent a part of the striking union and therefore wont participate.
Peru stands as one of the globe’s leading producers of silver and copper, and is ranked fifth in terms of gold production.
Negotiations between the union and the government had been ongoing in the days leading up to the strike deadline, but failed to produce results.
As of yet, there has been no estimate from officials as to how much production could be lost.