Labor contract deal ends strike at Chile’s Andina copper mine

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

Two unions at Chile’s Andina copper mine have struck a labor contract deal with world top copper producer Codelco, the company said Thursday, ending a prolonged strike that began in mid-August.

Members of the Industrial Union of Labor Integration (SIIL) and the Unified Workers’ Union (SUT) returned to the bargaining table with the state miner late last month, and on Wednesday evening signed the new 36-month contract.

The unions, the company said, “will resume their work on a date to be defined with the administration.”

The agreement does not raise salaries but includes a bonus equivalent to $5,800 per worker, according to Codelco’s statement, as well as production-based incentives.

Copper prices have soared to record highs this year, handing unions in Chile additional leverage, ratcheting up tensions in labor negotiations and putting pressure on global supply.

Andina’s unions said the walk-off had cost the company around $5 million daily.

The central Chilean mine produced 184,000 tons of copper in 2020.

(By Fabian Cambero and Dave Sherwood; Editing by Barbara Lewis)

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