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Freeport Peru Workers to Strike at Cerro Verde Mine

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Workers at Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.’s Peruvian copper mine plan to strike Jan. 14 in a dispute over health and overtime issues, a union official said.

Miners at Freeport’s Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde SAA, Peru’s third-largest copper miner, are making eight demands, including fully paid overtime and better health insurance, said Leoncio Amudio, the union’s general secretary.

“The company has pushed us into taking this measure,” Amudio said today in a telephone interview from Arequipa, Peru, 750 kilometers (470 miles) southeast of Lima. “We gave them two years to solve these issues.”

Workers in Peru and Chile held work stoppages at copper, gold and iron mines in the past six months to seek better working conditions and a bigger slice of record company earnings. A monthlong strike at Anglo American Plc’s Collahuasi copper mine ended Dec. 7.

“Cerro Verde will work cooperatively with the union to address any grievances presented and to reach mutually agreeable resolutions,” Eric Kinneberg, a spokesman for Freeport, said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Freeport fell 40 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $118.35 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

Southern Copper Corp. and Cia. Minera Antamina SA are the first- and second-largest copper miners in Peru. Cerro Verde’s copper output rose 7 percent to 283,749 metric tons through November last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Emery in Lima at aemery1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net.

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