Mexico miners block port to support ongoing strike

MEXICO CITY, April 13 (Reuters) – Mexican miners and metals workers are blocking the Lazaro Cardenas shipping port on Mexico’s western coast in support of a nearly two-year-long strike at one of the country’s largest copper mines. Unionized workers from Michoacan state began blocking shipments at the port on Monday and will continue the protest until there is a resolution to the long-running labor dispute at the Cananea copper mine, which is near the U.S. Mexico border, the union said in a press release. The workers will continue to show up at their jobs at mines and metals processing plants in Michoacan but will take turns setting up a blockade at the port, which imports and exports industrial and agricultural products, a union official told Reuters. The port authorities were not immediately available to comment on how the blockade could affect operations. Miners at the Cananea, owned by Grupo Mexico, laid down tools in July 2007 in a dispute over health and safety which has been complicated by a feud between the company and the union’s leaders. Grupo Mexico has said it would have to shut down the giant copper pit and fire workers due to damage to the machinery done by the prolonged stoppage at Cananea. That decision has angered the union, which counts among its members thousands of workers around the country. Workers hope to put pressure on the government to resolve the Cananea dispute with the port blockade, the union official said.


Reporting by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Christian Wiessner

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