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Southern Copper CEO does not expect Peru to OK strike at copper mines

Southern Copper Corp. CEO Oscar Gonzalez believes that Peru's labor ministry will not allow workers to down tools at the company's Toquepala and Cuajone copper mines in southern Peru, Reuters reported April 4.

In an interview at an industry conference in Chile, Gonzalez noted that an existing labor agreement with the workers is still in force and the company is not planning to give the workers a bigger share of profits, but it will seek talks with the union, which is planning to start a strike April 7 or April 10.

Southern Copper could hire contract staff to maintain output from the mines if the strike proceeds.

Previously, union representative Ricardo Juarez said workers from the Toquepala and Cuajone mines and Ilo smelter are demanding a bigger share of profits, along with better healthcare and working conditions.

The executive added that the company has not received an answer to its bid for Anglo American Plc's stake in the Quellaveco mine.