Drummond Colombia Coal Strike Could End Next Week, Union Says

Striking workers at Drummond Co. in Colombia could return to the company’s coal mines and port as soon as next week after workers voted to accept the firm’s pay offer, according to two unions representing workers.

A majority of Drummond’s permanent employees in Colombia voted in a Sept. 3-5 ballot to end a strike that has lasted more than six weeks, Dionicio Machuca, president of the Agretritrenes minority union, said by phone yesterday.

“If the documentation is presented in the labor ministry, we could start work next week,” Machuca said. “As soon as Monday.”

Drummond’s port and mine workers went on strike July 23, halting output at Colombia’s No. 2 producer of coal, the country’s main export after oil. Drummond produced 26 million metric tons of coal in 2012, or about 29 percent of Colombia’s total output, according to the country’s mining agency.

Alfredo Moreno, president of the minority union Sintradrummond, also said a majority had voted to end the strike. Cesar Flores, a negotiator for the majority Sintramienergetica union, declined to comment on the vote.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Willis in Bogota at awillis21@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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