BOGOTA, April 14 (Reuters) - Union workers at Colombia’s Cerro Matoso mine, the world’s sixth-largest producer of ferronickel, will begin an indefinite strike on Tuesday in protest over longer working hours, the union president said.
The move comes after Cerro Matoso, owned by BHP Billiton , increased shifts from eight to 12 hours.
The union held three days of talks with the company and the labor ministry in a bid to avoid the strike, but no deal was made, union president Domingo Hernandez told Reuters.
“No deal was reached,” Hernandez said. “The strike will start at three in the afternoon.”
The mine, located in northern Cordoba province, produced over 41,000 tonnes of ferronickel last year.
Mine owner Cerro Matoso S.A. has more than 1,000 employees, 520 of whom belong to the union. The company could not immediately be reached for comment.
Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb and Nelson Bocanegra; Editing by Ted Botha