Chile copper miners stage strike over leader's arrest

Copper workers at a mine in northern Chile began an illegal strike to demand the release of the president of their union. But there were conflicting reports on the extent of the action.

A union spokesman at the El Salvador mine said the mine was paralyzed and paramilitary police were surrounding it. But a spokesman for the state-owned copper corporation Codelco said 84 percent of the workers had turned up for work and the company had begun to fire those who did not show up.

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