Hudbay's Manitoba miners down tools

Close to 200 miners at mines run by Hudbay Minerals (TSX, NYSE:HBM) in Manitoba, Canada walked off the job over the weekend.

The strike by 180 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local No. 1848 began at noon on Saturday, Hudbay reported in a news release. It's the first time the mine workers have gone on strike in 40 years, according to local media The Winnipeg Free Press.

"A comprehensive contingency plan is in place and the company expects operations to continue and production guidance to be maintained. The striking workers represent about 12% of Hudbay's 1460 person Manitoba workforce," stated Hudbay, adding: "Hudbay sought a mutually negotiated agreement over several months and does not believe the strike action is necessary. Hudbay remains committed to the bargaining process and hopes the union leadership will engage in good faith negotiations."

The Free Press reports that wages and pensions are the main points of the dispute.

Hudbay now has four producing mines in Manitoba, including the Snow Lake project it bought last month. The others include the 777 mine, which produces copper, gold and silver; the Lalor mine, which mines zinc, copper, gold and silver; and the Reed mine, a copper deposit that started producing in 2013. Hudbay also has processing facilities in Flin Flon and in Snow Lake, where a refurbished concentrator processes ore from the nearby Lalor mine.