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The Pasta de Conchos coal mine four days after the February 19, 2006 explosion that killed 65 miners. - 


MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Are you taking today off to mark President's Day? Well if so you're not the only employee sitting out today. In Mexico up to 200,000 mine workers have declared a one-day strike. They want the government to punish their employer, Grupo Mexico, for doing next to nothing following a deadly mine explosion exactly one year ago. From the Americas Desk at WLRN, Marketplace's Dan Grech has more.

DAN GRECH: An explosion ripped through the Pasta de Conchos coal mine in northern Mexico on this day last year. Sixty-five people died.

Since then, mine owner Grupo Mexico has only recovered two bodies.

The company is Mexico's largest mining conglomerate. It says it's spent millions trying to recover the remains, but tons of rubble have hindered the recovery effort.

Mexico expert George W. Grayson is with the College of William and Mary.

GEORGE W. GRAYSON: Grupo Mexico has acted in quite a high-handed, cavalier manner, because they really don't think the union, even if it goes on strike, is going to be able to close their sector.

The local attorney general says the mining company knew Pasta de Conchos was a powder keg, but it bribed federal inspectors to report the mine was safe.

State prosecutors say they'll charge 10 mine managers and inspectors with homicide.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.