Workers at Prodeco's Colombia coal port vote down proposed strike

A small number of workers at Grupo Prodeco's port in Colombia have voted down a proposed strike, the union which held the vote said on Friday, adding that only eight out of 115 workers voted.

Prodeco, a subsidiary of Switzerland's Glencore, is the third-largest producer of thermal coal in the Andean country.

The company pressured workers not to participate in the vote, union head Aldo Amaya said, adding his organization plans to lodge a complaint with the labor ministry. Prodeco said there were officials from the ministry present as voting took place.

Only three of the 115 workers at the Puerto Nuevo port are members of the union – Sintracarbon – which called for the vote over a pay and benefits dispute, but eight workers voted on the potential action.

Colombian law allows non-unionized workers to participate in decisions on whether or not to strike. Seven voted in favor of a strike, much less than the overall worker majority required for a legal strike.

(By Luis Jaime Acosta and Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by David Gregorio)