Strike hits Peru's No. 1 copper producer, 1,730 unionized workers walk out

LIMA, Peru – Unionized workers have gone on strike at Peru’s top copper mine to protest a decline in income.

It is the first strike since operations began 13 years ago at the Antamina mine owned by an international consortium including BHP Billiton Ltd., Glencore Plc., Teck Resources Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corp.

Union leader Jorge Juarez says the 1,730 unionized workers who went on strike Monday account for more than half the mine’s employees. The workers say they’ve lost 40 per cent of income as production dropped from last year.

Antamina says it is focused on maintaining output. But Juarez says the strike will affect the copper concentrate plant and the Pacific port where concentrate is loaded onto ships.

Peru is the world’s No. 3 copper producer after Chile and China.