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Miners in Peru call national strike against labour reform

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24 July, 2017Miners in Peru are taking indefinite national strike action against labour reforms attacking their rights and promoting precarious work.

More than 50 miners’ unions took strike action on 20 July, as proposed by the National Federation of Miners, Metalworkers and Steelworkers (FNTMMSP), affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union.

The union opposes legislation put forward by the government of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski that, for example, facilitates collective redundancies and reduces redundancy pay by 50 per cent. The miners say the reform will also restrict their control over health and safety conditions, attack collective bargaining rights and the right to strike and promote the temporary employment of young workers.

The miners are calling for the repeal of regulations that allow the persecution of trade union leaders and outsourcing. They say that the government is encouraging precarious work by introducing these measures.

In addition to the strike, the FNTMMSP and its affiliates organized a march through the centre of Lima on 21 July. They then held a rally outside the labour ministry, where they requested talks on workers’ concerns.

The president of the congressional labour commission has agreed to meet the mining federation’s leaders, and workers hope to get a positive response that will allow them to end the strike.

Fernando Lopes from IndustriALL Global Union, says:

“Peru is following the path taken by many governments in the region, trying to reform legislation to make working conditions more precarious. The workers’ response is to fight this, which IndustriALL supports.”

Peru is the world’s second biggest producer of silver, third biggest producer of copper and fifth biggest producer of gold. Mining is key to the economy and accounts for 60 per cent of Peru’s exports.