Codelco reaches new agreement with union workers

Workers at El Teniente, Chile. Image from Codelco.

Chile’s state-owned Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, said on Tuesday it has reached an early collective bargaining agreement with the five unions representing workers at its key El Teniente mine.

A majority of workers had rejected a previous proposed agreement in mid-August. The company did not specify the details of the new agreement.

Copper prices have soared to record highs this year, handing unions in Chile more leverage than in the recent past, ratcheting up tensions in labor negotiations and putting pressure on global supply of the red metal.

Global miner BHP recently struck a deal with workers at its massive Escondida mine in northern Chile that resulted in record-breaking benefits.

Codelco’s El Teniente mine produced some 443,000 tonnes of copper in 2020.

(By Fabian Cambero; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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