October 4, 2010 / 1:45 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-Gammon's Mexican gold mine strike declared illegal

* Says Mexican Federal Labor Board declares strike illegal

* Union says appealing decision, miners still occupy site

(Recasts with union comment)

TORONTO, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Gammon Gold GAM.TO said on Monday the Mexican Federal Labor Board had declared a strike at its El Cubo gold mine illegal but the union says it is appealing the decision and workers still occupy the site.

In June, the Canadian precious metals miner declared operations at El Cubo were suspended due to a labor disruption launched by union workers claiming the company refused to pay a profit sharing agreement last year.

Gammon fired nearly 400 workers and the union declared an official strike on June 30 in response.

Since then, the legality of the union’s strike action has been under consideration by federal authorities, said Gammon, in a statement.

On Saturday, a Mexican labor board declared the strike illegal because it was called after the workers had already been fired but union official Javier Zuniga said the union was appealing the decision.

“The strike is still legitimate, we have already been granted a temporary suspension (of the labor board decision),” Zuniga said, adding that workers maintained control of the mine installations.

Gammon said it was willing to talk with workers about resuming operations at El Cubo.

“We remain open to discussions directly with local union workers who are willing to consider a mutually agreeable solution that will result in operations at El Cubo being resumed as soon as possible,” Gammon Chief Executive Rene Marion sand in a statement.

The company said it is now working through all legal channels to recover access to the facilities to assess the potential resumption of mining at the site. (Reporting by Euan Rocha in Toronto and Mica Rosenberg in Mexico City; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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