Chile CMPC says strike paralyzes biggest sawmill
June 2 (Reuters) - Chilean forestry and paper company CMPC CAR.SN said Wednesday a worker strike over pay had paralyzed its biggest sawmill in south-central Chile.
CMPC's Mulchen plant, one of the company's three operating sawmills, produces between 350,000 to 400,000 cubic meters of sawed wood a year. The three mills together usually produce around 1 million cubic meters of sawed wood a year.
The company has a fourth sawmill that has been out of action since early 2009.
"Workers have called a strike. The plant is paralyzed," Eduardo Gacitua, operations manager for CMPC's sawmills business, told Reuters. "They are calling it an indefinite strike."
Gacitua said around 130 of the plant's 400 workers had joined the strike. Local radio reported the striking workers were blocking access to the plant, which lies around 315 miles (500 km) south of the capital, Santiago.
CMPC is a rival of Chile's Arauco, one of the world's largest pulp producers and the forestry unit of Chilean industrial conglomerate Copec (COP.SN).
Chile's forestry industry was hammered by a massive earthquake Feb. 27 and ensuing tsunamis, which killed hundreds of people and ravaged towns and roads. (Reporting by Simon Gardner and Fabian Cambero; Editing by Walter Bagley)