October 31, 2014 / 10:29 PM / in 4 years

UPDATE 1-Workers at top Peru copper mine agree to talks over planned strike

(Adds context on strike, comment from company)

LIMA, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Workers at Peru’s top copper producer, Antamina, accepted management’s invitation to talk on Tuesday about the indefinite strike they plan to start on Nov. 10, a union leader told Reuters on Friday.

“We are open to dialogue,” said Jorge Juarez, secretary general of Antamina labor union SUTRACOMASA. “But we are still planning to go on strike.”

Workers will down their tools to push for a bonus amid shrinking proceeds from a profit-sharing agreement, Juarez told Reuters in an interview with Reuters last week.

The planned action, which comes amid tumbling copper output at Antamina because of lower mineral grades, has dampened the outlook for rising global supply of the red metal.

Antamina contributes about 27 percent to overall copper output in Peru, which produced 7 percent of the world’s copper last year.

The union, which represents 1,630 of 2,860 workers at Antamina, has said that the strike will halt production that has been running at about 30,000 tonnes per month.

BHP Billiton and Glencore Xstrata each have 33.75 percent stakes in Antamina. Teck owns 22.5 percent and Mitsubishi Corporation 10 percent.

Antamina, also Peru’s top zinc miner, has urged the union to reconsider its decision.

“The only thing that will be achieved with this measure is a further reduction in profits,” the company said in a statement on its website earlier.

Antamina said profit-sharing agreement meets all legal requirements and is tied to global mineral prices and production levels.

The miner expects its current phase of weaker ore grades to end in the “medium-term.” Output from Antamina fell 33.5 percent in September from the same month in 2013.

Reporting By Mitra Taj and Marco Aquino; Editing by Chris Reese and Diane Craft

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