BHP Stock – BHP : Union at BHP’s Chilean mines rejects contract offer, strike risk rises
SANTIAGO, May 14 (Reuters) – A union representing workers at
BHP’s Escondida and Spence mines in Chile has rejected
the company’s contract offer, raising the risk of a strike at
the two sprawling copper deposits, the union’s president told
Reuters on Friday.
The union’s 205 workers run the company’s Integrated
Operations Centre which manages cathode and concentrator plants
in the north of the country from the Chilean capital Santiago.
Union president Jessica Orellana told Reuters that 97% of
the group’s workers had voted to reject the deal. The standoff
comes as the global price of copper has soared, hitting
decade-long highs and providing leverage to unions looking to
top up existing contracts and benefits.
Chilean law allows either party to now request a five-day
government mediation period, extendable for an additional five
days, ahead of any eventual strike.
BHP told Reuters in a statement it believed the two parties
could still reach an agreement.
“Considering the willingness for dialogue and good faith
shown throughout the entire process, the company is confident in
a satisfactory agreement for both parties,” BHP said.
Escondida, the world’s largest copper deposit, produced 1.19
million tons in 2020, while Spence produced 146,700 tons.
(Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing
by Leslie Adler and David Gregorio)