UPDATE 1-Cerrejon, striking coal union meet over walkout in Colombia

Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:10am IST

Related Topics

Stocks

   

By Jack Kimball

BOGOTA Feb 15 (Reuters) - Colombia's largest coal exporter, Cerrejon, and its striking union will meet again on Saturday in search of a deal to end a week-long walkout by thousands of workers, the union said.

Laborers at Cerrejon, a joint venture between BHP Billiton , Anglo American and Xstrata, went on strike on Feb. 7, the first in two decades, after failing to reach an agreement over wages and benefits.

The two sides met for the first time since the strike on Friday in the northern Guajira province and decided to continue talks on Saturday, said Sintracarbon union president Igor Diaz.

The Labor Ministry mediated the talks between company and union officials. Negotiations will resume on Saturday at 9 a.m. (1400 GMT), Diaz said in a message on Twitter.

"I will bring from our organization every effort to seek an agreement, we expect the same attitude from the company," he tweeted.

The last time Cerrejon had a strike was in the early 1990s. In 2011, laborers at Cerrejon voted to strike but reached a deal with the company before walking off the job.

Cerrejon produced 34.6 million tonnes of coal last year, 4 percent more than expected. It exported 32.8 million tonnes, 2.5 percent above its goal, in 2012.

"Cerrejon confirms its willingness to resume negotiations with Sintracarbon (union) to enable a new collective bargaining agreement 2013-2014 and put an end to a strike that has caused great harm," the company said in a statement late on Thursday.

The strike has added to problems in the coal industry, which has been hit by a suspension at Drummond, the second-largest exporter, a night-time ban on coal transport at the main railway and a dispute at a mine owned by a Goldman Sachs affiliate.

In total, about 85 percent of Colombia's daily coal production has been shut down as a result, according to calculations by Reuters and industry sources.

FILED UNDER:

Surprise Rate Cut

Reuters Showcase

Insurance Bill

Insurance Bill

Opposition support bolsters prospects for insurance reforms  Full Article 

SBI Share Sale

SBI Share Sale

SBI's up to $2.4 billion share sale likely by end April - sources   Full Article 

Eicher Share Sale

Eicher Share Sale

Truck maker Volvo sells shares in Eicher Motors  Full Article 

Beef Ban

Beef Ban

After beef ban, Hindu groups force abattoirs to close   Full Article 

Monsoon Season

Monsoon Season

Exclusive - India expects better monsoon rains this year  Full Article 

Services Growth

Services Growth

Services growth at eight-month high in Feb - HSBC PMI  Full Article 

'India's Daughter'

'India's Daughter'

Documentary on 2012 Delhi gang rape banned in India  Full Article 

Capex Slashed

Capex Slashed

Cairn India slashes 2015-16 capex on falling crude   Full Article 

Strong Start

Strong Start

Airwaves auction off to strong start, bids near $10 billion.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage