(Adds comment on meeting on Tuesday, background)
LIMA, March 13 A strike at Peru's biggest copper
mine, Freeport-McMoRan Inc's Cerro Verde,
stretched into its fourth day after a meeting between the union
and management failed to resolve a dispute over labor demands, a
union official said on Monday.
The mine is now producing about half as much copper as it
normally does because Freeport has hired contract workers to
operate key areas, said union official Jesus Revilla.
Cerro Verde produced nearly 500,000 tonnes of copper in
2016, more than double its 2015 output, thanks to an expansion.
Some 1,300 workers out of about a total of 1,650 downed
tools on Friday to demand family health benefits and a bigger
share of the mine's profits as copper prices have risen,
according to the union.
Union and company officials will meet again on Tuesday,
Freeport did not immediately respond to requests for
The strike is the latest disruption to global copper
supplies to put pressure on prices amid a labor stoppage at BHP
Billiton's Escondida mine in Chile and a dispute over
export rights at Freeport's Grasberg mine in Indonesia.
Freeport-McMoRan owns a 53.56 percent stake in Cerro Verde,
Sumitomo Metal Mining Company Ltd has a 21 percent
stake in the mine and Buenaventura has 19.58
(Reporting by Marco Aquino and Mitra Taj; Editing by Chris
Reese and Peter Cooney)