BOGOTA, May 16 (Reuters) - Drummond, Colombia's second-biggest coal producer, has agreed a new three-year salary deal with four Colombian unions, the company said on Monday, avoiding a potential strike.
Some 3,100 workers from the Sintramienergetica, Sintradrummond, Agretritrenes and Sintramineros unions are included in the deal, which will raise salaries by 7 percent this year, the Alabama-based company said in a statement.
Wages will further increase by 0.23 percent plus inflation in 2017 and again by 0.50 percent plus inflation in 2018, Drummond said.
"We want to take the opportunity to thank the teams from the four unions for coming into this process with open minds and constructive attitudes, without which these results would not have been possible," the company said.
The deal also includes changes to healthcare and housing policies, as well as educational funds, Drummond added. The deal was signed by the unions over the weekend after several weeks of negotiations.
Some 4,905 Drummond workers are affiliated with five unions. The company produced 25.8 million tonnes of coal in 2015, 30 percent of Colombia's total 85.5 million tonnes of output.
Apart from Drummond, the coal sector in Colombia is dominated by Cerrejon, a joint venture between Australia-based BHP Billiton Ltd, London- and Johannesburg-based Anglo American Plc and Swiss-based Glencore Xstrata. Prodeco, a unit of Glencore Xstrata is also present.
Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Bernard Orr