Aluminum and Copper

Union at Escondida mine threatens work stoppage

Union at Escondida mine threatens work stoppage
Mining News Pro - A union representing workers at BHP’s sprawling Escondida copper mine in Chile, the world’s largest copper mine, on Thursday threatened a work stoppage over what it claims are breaches in its collective contract.
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Escondida’s Union 1 requested an urgent meeting with company executives to discuss its complaints over promotions, saying many conditions in the contract were not being upheld by the firm, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

It asked the issues be resolved shortly or it will initiate “labor actions,” implying a stoppage.

This “may mean, among other measures, the exercise of strikes or collective abstentions from work, for as long as is agreed,” the union said in the letter. If the union calls for a stoppage, it will let the company know beforehand so measures can be adopted to “safeguard” company assets.

BHP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The union and the company signed the new collective contract last August.

In January, the union accused the firm of being erratic and irresponsible as Covid-19 infections had risen among the workforce.

Last year, workers at the mine won a historic benefits package at the bargaining table, which included bonuses distributed to all workers in equal parts, the union said at the time.


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