La Caridad strike deemed illegal

- Thursday, July 22, 2004

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Mexico's government has declared illegal a strike which started July 12 at the La Caridad copper mine and associated smelter owned by Grupo México (G-Mex) subsidiary Mexcobre, the company and union announced Thursday (July 22) afternoon.

The declaration gives union strikers 24 hours to go back to work or to find a legal means to continue striking at the Sonora state facilities. Union workers will continue to strike "for now," union spokesperson Consuelo Aguilar told BNamericas.

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Meanwhile, the union has set a Friday (July 23) deadline for a strike decision at G-Mex's Cananea copper mine, also in Sonora state. In the case of La Caridad and Cananea, the union is pushing for issues such as profit sharing and overtime pay.

La Caridad produces roughly 140,000t/y copper concentrates, while its smelter churns out 240,000t red metal. Cananea output totals roughly 130,000t/y concentrate.

G-Mex (BMV: GMEXICOB), a copper giant and one of the world's largest producers of refined silver, saw its net profit surge 647% to US$166mn in the first quarter this year compared to 1Q03, while consolidated sales jumped 62% to US$873mn.

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