Settlement with workers at Cerrejon

On 8 February, the SINTRACARBON coal workers’ union in Colombia signed a new contract with the Cerrejon Coal Company, owned in equal parts by London-listed Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Xstrata.

The agreement came after an overwhelming majority of the workers at the mine voted for strike action. Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon then offered to mediate, and an agreement was reached.

The agreement includes pay rises of 6.5% for 2011 and around 5% for 2012; improvements in access to medical care; greater assistance with education costs for mineworkers’ children; assistance with accommodation costs; greater commitment to assisting communities affected by the mine; and a commitment to respect the right of subcontracted workers to join a union.

The union attributes its victory to its absolute determination not to give in to unreasonable demands from Cerrejon Coal.

Cerrejon sees Colombia coal pushed to Europe by Asia demand

Asian demand will pull Colombian coal to Europe, says Cerrejon. Company to present expansion plan in next few months.