Location : Wabbit Hole
Job/hobbies : Cayman Islands Actuary
|Subject: Extortionist workers strike at world's top copper mine Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:34 pm|| |
|Workers at the world's top copper mine, BHP Billiton's Escondida in Chile, launched what they vowed would be a "long and hard" strike Thursday, causing jitters on world commodity markets.|
Escondida is the first of several key mines worldwide where contracts expire this year, and markets are watching nervously to see how the strike impacts supply and prices.
"The company is sticking to its inflexible stance. This will be a tough fight," said Carlos Allendes, spokesman for the Escondida miners' union.
"This could go on for a long time. We're prepared to maintain a long and hard strike."
BHP Billiton, one of the world's leading mining consortiums, has rejected workers' demands for a seven-percent raise and bonuses of 25 million pesos (around $39,000).
It is offering bonuses of eight million pesos, with no raise.
Like other miners, the Anglo-Australian company has had to cut costs as copper prices slid in recent years, from a record high of $10,190 per metric ton in February 2011 to $4,318 per ton in January 2016, to just over $6,000 today.
Ninety-nine percent of Escondida's 2,500 workers voted Tuesday to strike, after government-mediated negotiations collapsed.
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