SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The workers’ union at BHP’s Escondida copper mine in Chile has voted for strike, rejecting the company’s final contract offer. Following this, the world’s largest copper mine stares at yet another strike, which in turn could aggravate supply constraints for the metal.
The union published the results of the vote, which states that 2,164 workers voted in favour of strike action, whereas only 11 voted in acceptance of the employer’s offer. The company can now request for a government-initiated mediation talks, which would last for a period of up to 10 days, following which the strike action could begin.
The statement released by the union noted that the overwhelming support for strike action indicates the huge gap that exists between the workers and the company. The strong vote should act as a wake-up call for the company to begin meaningful dialogue with the union, it said.
Meantime, BHP said that the management remains hopeful of a deal during the upcoming government-mediated negotiations. The company remains open to dialogue and wishes to take advantage of all available opportunities, it said.
The union representatives have been engaged in negotiations with company officials over the past two months. However, the talks had failed with the company rejecting the main demands put forth by the union.