UPDATE 2-Mining unions in Peru to start national strike Monday -unions

viernes 15 de mayo de 2015 21:45 GYT

(Adds details, context, some mines where unions will be striking)

LIMA May 15 (Reuters) - Workers at several major mines in Peru, including two of the country's top copper producers, plan to go on an indefinite strike on Monday in a country-wide bid to press the government to strengthen labor laws, union bosses said.

The planned work stoppages at more than 20 mines threaten to curb mineral production in Peru, the world's third-biggest copper, silver and tin producer and seventh-biggest gold producer.

Unionized workers are demanding the government repeal a law passed last year that eases rules on firing workers and to restrict the use of contract workers by mining companies, said Ricardo Juarez, the president of a national mining federation.

The strike also aims to shelve legislation that mining unions say reduces benefits and workplace inspections.

"We're not asking for a wage increase," Juarez said. "We want a series of norms and decrees that go against mining workers eliminated."

Some 20,000 workers are part of the national mining federation, Juarez said.

The labor ministry declared the planned stoppage unfounded, an action that allows for an appeal process and often does not stop unions from striking.

However, the president of Peru's mining chamber said he did not think the strike would significantly affect the country's mining production. "They have planned this for years and set dates, but in many cases it is suspended," said Carlos Galvez.   Continuación...