SMM8 17-Escondida union workers are satisfied with BHP Billiton's new wage proposal, the world's largest copper mine strike risk has dissipated sharply.
The No. 1 union said, "the workers understand that this is a complete success." After reaching an agreement with management on Tuesday night, union leaders made the proposal to about 2500 members, concluding three months of negotiations.
The company said in a statement that the agreement had been reached after "great efforts" by both sides because there appeared to be great differences between the two sides until the final stage of the negotiations, as the unions insisted on defending the interests of workers. BHP Billiton, on the other hand, is trying to rein in costs in a volatile copper market.
Also on Thursday, Chile's Caserones copper mine had planned to sign a new wage agreement after workers accepted the terms of the mediation process to extend the negotiations.
As the threat of Escondida supply shocks recedes, the copper market is more vulnerable to demand concerns. Demand concerns battered commodity markets on Wednesday, with copper falling 4% into a bear market.
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