Two week strike at Chile copper mine ends

September 19, 2013
Escondida mine workers protest in 2006/AFP
Escondida mine workers protest in 2006/AFP

, SANTIAGO, Sep 19 – A strike that paralyzed a Chilean copper mine for two weeks has ended after workers struck a wage deal with management, a union leader said Thursday.

The agreement, reached Wednesday, foresees a three percent salary increase, an $18,000 bonus per worker and a termination plan for those nearing retirement.

Union leader Waldo Ponce, who announced the deal and its terms to reporters, said operations at the El Salvador Mine would return to normal within hours.

Some 1,129 union members walked off the job following a failed negotiation on September 5, setting up roadblocks leading to the facility.

The El Salvador Mine belongs to state owned Codelco and is located about 800 kilometers (500 miles) north of the capital Santiago.

The company had previously said it was not able to present a better offer because the site had generated losses of $50 million during the first half of 2013.

Codelco is responsible for 11 percent of global copper production. Chile is the world’s largest producer of the metal, generating about a third of global supply.

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