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Grupo Mexico offers new deal to end Cananea strike

Published by MAC on 2010-01-31
Source: Reuters

Grupo Mexico offers new deal to end Cananea strike

The copper miner has offered to buy out unionized workers in an effort to end the two-year old strike


28 January 2010

MEXICO CITY - Copper miner Grupo Mexico has made a fresh offer to unionized workers to end a two-year-long strike at the giant Cananea mine, the company said in a statement seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

In a statement addressed to miners and their families, Grupo Mexico said it would offer liquidation packages including a payment to each worker of 170,000 pesos ($13,100), but the union said they would not accept the money.

"Workers at Cananea decided unanimously to continue defending their legal right (to strike) and they are not willing to give into Grupo Mexico," a statement from the miners said.

The strike at the massive pit began in July 2007 over health and safety concerns but was later complicated by a dispute between Grupo Mexico and the union's leader Napoleon Gomez, who is living in Canada to avoid arrest on corruption charges in Mexico.

Gomez says the charges against him have been fabricated because of his work in defense of workers rights. A drawn out court battle has failed to determine whether or not the strike is illegal, which would alow the company to fire the workers.

Grupo Mexico claims that the striking workers have damaged equipment, electricity and water systems at the mine during the time the installations have been closed, a charge the union denies.

($1=12.9675) (Reporting by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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