Union at BHP copper mine in Chile accepts contract, averting strike

Spence copper mine, Chile. (Image courtesy of BHP)

The union representing workers at BHP’s Spence copper mine in Chile accepted a contract proposal by the company on Friday by an overwhelming margin, averting the risk of a strike.

Around 93% of union members voted in favor of the proposal, with the other 7% voting to strike, a tally provided by the union showed.

The three-year contract will give workers a “significant raise” in terms of salary and benefits, the union said in a statement.

Earlier this week, workers and the firm had reached an initial agreement that required a vote by union members to go into effect.

The union represents more than 1,100 workers at the copper mine located in northern Chile. Their previous collective agreement expired on May 31.

BHP had previously said that the Spence mine, which produced 249,000 metric tons of copper last year, was operating as normal while the firm was in negotiations with the union.

“The company appreciates the willingness for dialogue, respect and effort to build a sustainable and beneficial agreement for both parties,” BHP said in a statement.

Chile is the world’s largest copper producer.

(By Fabian Cambero and Kylie Madry; Editing by Leslie Adler, Sarah Morland and Aurora Ellis)


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