Glencore’s Prodeco Group said on Friday it regretted a decision by a Colombian labor union to strike at its La Jagua coal mine and called for more talks with workers at one of the nation’s largest coal exporters.
Colombia is the world’s fifth largest coal exporter, and laborers at Glencore, one of the Andean nation’s top three exporters, went on strike at La Jagua mine on Thursday over working conditions.
The walkout at the 12-million-tons-a-year Carbones de La Jagua mine is unlikely to affect spot thermal coal prices in Europe or Asia because Chinese import levels remain the overwhelming market driver.
“(The union) maintained an inflexible position with excessive petitions and did not take into consideration the just and balanced proposals that the company made,” Prodeco Group said in a statement.
“The company reaffirms its commitment to open, frank and respectful dialogue,” it said, adding that it had been in talks with the labor union for 58 days.
However, according to the country’s largest labor union CUT, “the strike happened after tremendous efforts by the workers’ negotiation commission that had presented viable methods to solve the collective labor dispute. The labor union accuses the coal company of paying union members less than workers who are not organized and demands higher wages, improvements in the workers’ security and health-insurance for work-related illnesses.
DES ARA and FOB Richards Bay coal prices fell by around 2 percent on Friday in line with weaker oil and power. The strike at La Jagua had no impact on prices. (Reuters / added union response)