COLOMBIAN STRIKERS CLOSE EL CERREJON MINE

COLOMBIAN STRIKERS CLOSE EL CERREJON MINE

Coal miners at Colombia's El Cerrejon mine have been on strike since April 25, paralyzing production. Out of a total of 4,600 workers, 2,770 members of the Sintorcor union have succeeded in closing the mine, an Exxon Corp. official said.

Management personnel from International Colombia Resources Corp. - an equally owned venture between the Colombian government and Exxon - are continuing to load coal into ships at Puerto Bolivar. The loading is allowed under Colombian laws designed to minimize fire hazards and protect assets.The strike is the first that has occurred at the mine since Exxon's involvement in 1984. Labor agreements have been covered through a series of two-year agreements, the latest of which expired in March.

Some 11.4 million metric tons of coal were produced at El Cerrejon in 1989 and 13 million metric tons of production is projected for 1990, the Exxon official said.