Chile copper mine Escondida says no early wage agreement reached

SANTIAGO, April 26 (Reuters) – Chile's Escondida, the world's largest copper mine, said on Thursday that early contract talks with its workers' union ended without an agreement, setting the stage for legally scheduled negotiations to begin in June.

The union representing workers at the mine, which is controlled by BHP told Reuters this week that it was "highly probable" that an agreement for a new contract would not be reached in the preliminary talks.

The union accepted an offer to begin early negotiations with the Anglo-Australian miner in March in an effort to avoid another strike at the northern Chile mine.

After a work stoppage of 44 days at the beginning of last year, the workers decided to extend the previous contract for 18 months, until July 31. The official deadline to start contract discussions begins in June.

(Reporting by Fabian Andres Cambero; Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by James Dalgleish)