In Peru, the leader of the country's two week old miners' strike, Victor Cuadros, has said the strike will not end until 400 dismissed workers are reinstated.
In Peru, the leader of the country's two week old miners' strike, Victor Cuadros, has said the strike will not end until 400 dismissed workers are reinstated. The sacked miners are also demanding the repeal of a two-year old decree placing the mines in a state of emergency and outlawing strikes. These latest statements by the strikers come after a large demonstration in capital Lima. Some of those who attended marched more than 135 miles (220 kilometres) to be there.
SYNOPSIS: The arduous march to draw attention to their grievances cost the miners and their families blistered feet and aching legs. The long march started in La Oroya, a mining centre hard hit by the strike which has crippled Peru's mining industry. But the miners still consider the hardship is worth the effort, as they discuss their march at the roadside.
The strike began with demands for the reinstatement of miners dismissed in earlier strikes, a claim for a pay increase for all workers in Peru, together with a demand for an end to a ban on strikes in mines. The effects on Peru's economy, which depends on minerals for 70 percent of its foreign earnings, has been serious. Peru was already experiencing a severe recession when the strike started, and now export deadlines have been missed while the miners march.
The state-owned mining, refining and smelting company Centromin-Peru says the strikers are politically-motivated, and that they aim to topple the military government. For its part, the government has refused to meet Mr. Cuadros, who was dismissed from work during an earlier strike. But while the deadlock continues, Peru loses millions of dollars each day in lost copper, lead, zinc and silver exports.