April 01, 2008

Mexican workers block country's largest copper mine

Striking miners blocked scabs from entering the Cananea copper mines on March 30. Grupo Mexico, the largest mining company in Mexico, owns the mines.

In July 2007, 1,500 workers from the National Mining and Metal Workers Union went on strike. They demand a 10 percent wage increase, better safety and health conditions, and back pay for the duration of the strike.

In January, the government’s labor board declared the strike illegal and ordered workers back to work. A court later declared that workers who did not return to their jobs could not be fired. The workers refuse to return until their demands are met.

Carlos Pavon, a union spokesperson, said they blocked the mines because Grupo Mexico is breaking the law by replacing striking union workers with temporary, non-union workers. Grupo Mexico has lost over $600 million in sales because of the workers’ perseverance.

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