Codelco reaches labor agreement with union at Salvador division

Workers starting a shift at Codelco’s Andina mines. Image from Codelco.

Chile’s state-owned Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, said on Wednesday it had reached agreement on a labor contract with a union representing workers at its small Salvador division in northern Chile.

The miner and the Benito Tapia Tapia union No. 6 signed a 36-month deal that includes a $5,200 signing bonus as well as production-linked benefits, the company said in a statement.

The company’s final contract offer was approved by 61% of the union workers who voted, Codelco said.

Soaring copper prices this year have handed unions in Chile more leverage than in the recent past, ratcheting up tensions in some labor negotiations, including a prolonged strike at Codelco’s Andina mine near Santiago.

Salvador, an aging deposit that has experienced declining ore grades and low productivity, has embarked on a $1.4 billion upgrade to extend its life.

The division produced 56,300 tonnes of copper in 2020.

(By Dave Sherwood; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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