SANTIAGO May 17 (Reuters) - Some subcontracted workers of Chilean copper giant Codelco blocked certain roads at the Andina, Chuquicamata, Gaby and Radomiro Tomic mines on Thursday, but the firm said operations were unaffected by the labor action.
"There's no impact on production," Codelco spokesman Pablo Orozco told Reuters. "It's a tiny group of people, more of a political problem that doesn't have workers' support."
Chile, the world's top copper producer, has been hit by a wave of labor stoppages as workers demand improved benefits amid record prices for copper, the country's main export.
Subcontractors blocked roads at the key copper mines around 6:00 AM (1000 GMT) on Thursday to demand that benefits already agreed following previous labor action be granted, the national federation of subcontract workers said in a statement.
Codelco officials at Andina, which produced 234,000 tonnes of copper last year, and Chuquicamata, which produced 443,000 tonnes of copper last year, both said only one marginal road had been blocked by a few workers and operations were normal.
Union leader Erwin Mascayano at Radomiro Tomic, which produced 470,000 tonnes of copper in 2011, said a road block had been enforced for around an hour before being lifted.