Posted by Charles Parkinson on Feb 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Police break up ‘illegal’ strike at La Caypa mine

La Caypa

Work at La Caypa coal mine in northern Colombia resumed after police broke up an “illegal” strike, confirmed Pacific Coal in a statement released Monday.

The mine, in Guajira Department, had been blockaded on 22 January with heavy machinery by subcontracted workers, in an apparent dispute between the subcontracted company OPM and the workers’ union. Pacific Coal asserted in an earlier statement that they had no part in the dispute, which also involves ongoing legal action.

The Canadian company declared the strike illegal on the basis of, “retaining private property (mining equipment and infrastructure), occupation of private premises, and blocking the mine.”

Work resumed on Saturday morning after the local Barrancas municipality authority issued an order for unauthorized personnel to clear the area, which local police enforced.

Pacific Coal confirmed that police will remain stationed at the mine throughout the week folllowing the resumption of work.

It was estimated after eight days that 75,000 tonnes of coal had been lost from production, the final cost of the strike is yet to be confirmed.