Dominican workers lift strike at Cerro de Maimón mine

The president of the Cerro de Maimón mine together with union workers announcing the end of the strike action. (Image by Cormidom, Facebook.)

After being on care and maintenance since May 15 due to a worker strike and blockade, the Cerro de Maimón copper-zinc mine located in the central Monseñor Nouel province in the Dominican Republic, is expected to resume operations in the coming days.

In a communiqué, the Dominican Mining Corporation (Cormidom), which is in charge of the mine and is a subsidiary of Australia’s Perilya, announced that it had reached a deal with the Cerro de Maimón Mine Workers Union, whose leaders agreed to end the protest action.

About two weeks ago, the union announced a peaceful strike alleging that the company didn’t provide a bonus based on the high earnings it posted in April. The miner, on the other hand, said that on April 27, 2023, it paid the equivalent of $330,000 to its workers, based on what was stipulated in the current collective agreement.

Through a mediation process led by the Labour Ministry and the National Confederation of Unions, the impasse came to an end.

According to Paul Marinko, president of the Dominican Mining Corporation, the goal is now to present the topics that were agreed upon to the company’s shareholders and convince them that it is worth reopening the mine.

Marinko emphasized that it is safe to work and operate in the Dominican Republic, given the good relationships Cormidom has built with the government, the judiciary and the union.

“I’m very happy about this resolution,” he said. “This agreement is a step forward to bring the necessary confidence to our shareholders so that the mine can resume its activities and, thus, guarantee the jobs of hundreds of Maimón employees.”

In previous statements, Marinko expressed urgency in solving the conflict due to the financial difficulties Perilya is going through, as rising costs have pushed management to cut jobs in some of its Australian mines. 

Cerro de Maimón itself is still dealing with some hardship following the 2022 landslide that trapped two workers in a 375-square-meter space located about 31 metres below the surface. 

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