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Peru mine workers go on indefinite strike

23 September, 2016Workers at Shougang Hierro Peru mining company have begun an indefinite general strike. They are striking for a decent pay increase and against attacks on workers, as well as demanding better health and safety in the mines.

“The working men and women of Shougang have been on strike for a second week in a row against the Chinese company. No one is surrendering; this has only just begun,”

stated the Mining Federation of Peru, affiliated to IndustriALL.

On 12 September, approximately 1,000 workers of the Chinese-owned Shougan Hierro Peru company, located in the district of San Juan de Marcona, began an indefinite general strike.

The aim is to curb arbitrary attacks by the company on its employees, to achieve a pay increase higher than that proposed, and to ensure better health and safety conditions at the workplace.

Workers at the Marcona mining centre have been experiencing labour and social abuse which is part of the company’s anti-union policy.

In addition, workers are demanding a fair solution to a list of complaints for the period 2016-2017. Despite increased profits, the company is only offering a pay increase of 1 new sol (0.30 US dollars), a number called “pathetic” by the union.

As a result, the workers decided to appeal to the Ministry of Labour on 19 September, asking for a solution to the list of complaints and to force the company to respect agreements and stop obstructing the union’s work.

Labour Minister Alfonso Grados has promised to initiate negotiations and to establish a dialogue committee between Shougang and the union.

The IndustriALL regional secretary Jorge Almeida said:

“IndustriALL Global Union has been following with concern the anti-union actions of the Chinese company.  It expresses its solidarity with the mining federation and the workers, and supports union action considered appropriate to reach a fair solution to the conflict.”