MAC: Mines and Communities

Grupo Mexico Seeks To Fire 2,200 Striking Workers

Published by MAC on 2007-08-10
Source: Bloomberg

Grupo Mexico Seeks to Fire 2,200 Striking Workers

By Adriana Arai and Alex Emery, (Bloomberg)

10th August 2007

Grupo Mexico SAB, the country's biggest copper producer, asked for government permission to fire 2,200 striking workers after the stoppage was declared illegal, company attorney Salvador Rocha said.

Grupo Mexico presented the request to a government arbitration panel on Aug. 8 after workers failed to return to work, Rocha said in a telephone interview. The panel will say next week whether the Mexico City-based company has the right to dismiss the workers, he said. An appeals court ruled this week that the miners could continue the strike.

Employees began the strike July 30 at Cananea, Mexico's largest copper mine, and the Taxco and San Martin zinc mines to push for wage increases and improved safety conditions.

Grupo Mexico can't fire the workers, because the original ruling declaring the walkout illegal was overturned, Carmen Romero, spokeswoman for the National Mining and Metal Workers Union, said in a telephone interview from Mexico City. The government panel has to determine whether the company was officially notified of the appeals court's decision before a 24-hour deadline.

``As workers failed to return to work, at 4:40 p.m. the company presented to the arbitration panel a statement terminating the labor contract with the workers,'' Rocha said. ``It's a timing issue.''

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