Union miners at Codelco’s Chuquicamata mine rejected the company’s latest proposal, which implies that a strike will begin as of the first shift Friday, June 14. The 3,200 workers voted by a show of hands, although the state-owned copper miner had requested that the process be carried out by ballot. Codelco had offered a bonus of 14.1 million Chilean pesos ($20,025) to settle.
After knowing the determination of the workers, Codelco said in a statement that “the company regrets the decision of the assembly. The offer made by Codelco is serious, responsible and realistic. We have worked to reach agreements of mutual benefit for the company and the workers, after the common objective of improving the competitiveness of Chuquicamata and adding more surpluses for the state of Chile.”
In addition to rejecting the bonus, the union asked for improvements in working conditions and a salary adjustment.
“This is the maximum effort that Codelco can make to be responsible for the country and also considering the transformation that is happening with both the company and the Chuquicamata Division,” the company explained. “The mining business is ‘threatened’ by the intensification of the trade dispute between the U.S. and China.”