Work Resumes at Chile Codelco Cooper Mines After 24-Hour Strike

Wednesday, 10 Apr 2013 08:44 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

SANTIAGO, Chile — Top global copper producer Codelco's massive mines returned to normal operations on Wednesday morning after the end of a 24-hour companywide strike to demand improved job security and better safety, Mining Minister Hernan de Solminihac said via Twitter.

The stoppage is estimated to have cost state miner Codelco less than metric 5,000 tons in lost output.

But it comes on the heels of other mine and port strikes, raising the specter of a steady series of labor actions as unions seek to make their demands heard ahead of Chile's November presidential election.

Private miners did not participate in the strike, but some workers delayed their shifts on Tuesday. Codelco's union bosses timed the work stoppage to make a splash during the international copper industry's CESCO/CRU conference in Santiago, the world's biggest gathering dedicated to the red metal.

Industry sources say 2013 may be an especially tricky year on the labor front for Codelco, which mines about 11 percent of the world's copper. The company is in the midst of an ambitious investment plan to lift annual production to more than 2 million metric tons by the start of the next decade.

But the revamp has led to layoffs, and workers fear more will lose their jobs or get fewer benefits during the transformation of the company's massive but depleted mines.

Tensions between the unions and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Keller, a former retail executive seen as a tough negotiator, have run high since he took the reins of the company last year.

Union leaders accuse Keller of arrogance, while Codelco says grinding production to a halt is not helping the company battle soaring costs and the reduction of its ore grade.

While many observers stressed the stoppage had strong political undercurrents, significant issues in Chile's mining industry persist. Workers are upset about the increases of subcontracted employees and accidents as well as potential job losses as major mines undergo restructuring.

Workers at Codelco's massive Radomiro Tomic mine staged a work stoppage in late March to protest the death of a worker in a landslide. They said they had warned management that the area was dangerous. The general manager resigned after days of protests.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Deadline Lapses in Peru for Illegal Gold Miners

Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 11:19 AM

The clock has run out for an estimated 40,000 illegal gold miners who had until Saturday to legalize their status in a r . . .

Powerful Earthquake Rattles Mexico, Shakes Buildings

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 12:37 PM

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico on Friday, shaking buildings in the capital and sending people running out into the  . . .

Students Add Easter Twist to Dwindling Venezuela Protests

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 11:28 AM

Venezuelan students are marching barefoot, building crucifixes and planning to burn effigies of President Nicolas Maduro . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved