Unionized miners launch strike against contractors in Peru

Unionized workers have gone on strike at some of Peru's biggest mines to demand a law be struck down that they say hurts their earnings and bargaining power by promoting the use of contractors.

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Union federation secretary Marcos Sarca says at least 20,000 of the country's 70,000 unionized miners walked off the job Monday.

Peru's mining sector employs about 200,000 workers, most non-union.

A key strikers' demand is that a 2008 law be overturned that made it easier for mining companies to rely on contractors.

Peru offers incentives like few other nations — including weakened environmental enforcement — to attract foreign mining investment. The sector accounts for 62 percent of exports.

One result has been violent anti-mining unrest, which has claimed three lives since mid-April.