(Adds comments from company spokesman)
LIMA, April 10 A Southern Copper Corp
spokesman said operations in Peru were near normal as workers
started an indefinite strike on Monday, although a union
representative said 80 percent of capacity was affected.
The Cuajone and Toquepala copper mines were producing at 98
percent and the Ilo refinery was operating at 100 percent
capacity, a Southern Copper spokesman said.
The strike follows labor disruptions at Peru's biggest
copper mine, Cerro Verde, and Chile's Escondida, the world's
largest copper mine, earlier this year.
Southern Copper, owned by Grupo Mexico,
boosted its copper output by 21 percent to 900,000 tonnes last
year on the back of an expansion at a mine in Mexico.
Jose Espejo, a member of a union representing 2,200 workers,
said workers had walked off the job and started protesting early
on Monday to demand a greater share of company profits.
"We are based on each side of the railroad and we will not
let the train pass," he said, referring to the railway that
transports copper concentrates from Cuajone and Toquepala to the
Another union of 800 workers at Toquepala plans to join the
strike on Wednesday, Espejo said.
The company spokesman said union members would meet later on
Monday with company representatives to try to resolve the
(Reporting by Marco Aquino and Teresa Cespedes; Writing by
Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)