Drummond coal miners say strike continues

A strike at U.S. coal miner
Drummond’s operations in Colombia will continue until the
company agrees to improves safety and increases benefits to the
family of a worker recently killed on the job, a union official
said on Wednesday.

About 8,000 direct and indirect employees laid down their
tools on Monday. A day earlier, worker Dagoberto Clavijo was
killed when the truck he was driving fell into Drummond’s
Pribbenow open pit mine in Cesar province, northern Colombia.

The Sintramienergetica labor union says driving surfaces
are unsafe in the area. Operations at the mine have been
paralyzed by the work stoppage, the union says.

“The strike will continue until the company concedes
certain points, including improving workplace safety,”
Sintramienergetica representative Felix Herrera told Reuters.

The union is also asking Drummond to extend full benefits
to Clavijo’s family even though he was an indirect employee
working for an outside contractor.

Privately controlled, Alabama-based Drummond said in a
statement on Tuesday that the accident that killed Clavijo is
under investigation “by the competent authorities and the
company.”

In the statement, Drummond called the strike illegal.

Customers said if the strike is short-lived there is little
likelihood of disruption to shipments.

Drummond said recently it expected its output in Colombia
to rise 23 percent this year. The miner produced around 22
million tonnes of coal last year and soon expects a new
operation to go online and increase output. (Reuters)

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