Jul. 22 (Bloomberg) –Workers at BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP)'s Escondida copper mine, the world's largest, began a 24-hour strike after failing to agree with the company over production- related bonuses, a union leader said.
The strike by all union members at the northern Chilean mine began at 8 p.m. New York time with the changing of a shift and will run through to 8 p.m. tomorrow, union leader Jose Vidal said by telephone. The protest may lead to about 3,000 metric tons of lost copper production, he said.
The strike follows a one-day stoppage by union members at Codelco, Chile's state-owned copper producer, on July 11 to protest planned job cuts as management revamps century-old mines. Escondida's operations were halted by unusual rains in Chile's Atacama Desert earlier this month, Marcelo Tapia, a union official, said July 7.
BHP owns 57.5 percent of Escondida and its share of output in the year through June was 390,500 tons, it said. Rio Tinto Group owns 30 percent.