SMM6, 21 March: the Chuquicamata Copper Union has called on its members to reject the new contract proposed by Codelco.
The company says the new contract not only retains the previous benefits, but also adds details to ensure the quality of retirement life for employees.
But the union says the retirement benefits do not meet the needs of the miners, nor do they guarantee higher demands for health insurance and equal treatment for the miners.
However, according to Chilean labor regulations, trade unions still have to vote within five days of the Codelco offering a new contract. If the vote turns down the contract, the company will have to redraft a contract within five days.
So far, the strike has halved copper production. Last year Chuquicamata produced 321000 tons of copper.
Codelco has spent $5.5 billion to close Chuquicamata's old mine and turn it into a modern, semi-automatic mine. This means that the company will make a certain degree of layoffs, creating tension between the company and the miners.
Codelco does face a lot of challenges this year. The company produced only 342000 tons of copper in the first quarter, down 18 per cent from a year earlier. Pre-tax profits also fell 31 per cent from a year earlier to $372 million. "correlation Analysis-[SMM interpretation] the tightening pattern of strike copper mines in Chuquicamata Copper Mine is still intensified.
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