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Thousands of copper miners striking in Chile

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Christian Fernsby |
LatAm   Codelco

About 3,200 workers of the giant Chuquicamata mine are on strike this Friday after ending talks with representatives of the National Copper Corporation (Codelco) without agreements.

On Wednesday, the miners, who are demanding improvements in labor and wages, decided in an assembly to go on strike after rejecting the last wage offer proposed by the company, the world's largest copper exporter.

In a statement the unions of Chuquicamata indicated that the proposal of the administration did not meet the aspirations of the miners in terms of health, equality, transformation and special expenditures.

They also hold Codelco's management responsible for the damage that the national treasury will suffer and point out that the strike reflects the workers' rejection of the bad policies and the executive decisions that have led to the failure of the structural projects implemented in the company.

They add that the management has not assumed the errors and instead intends to endorse the costs to the legitimate demands of the workers, which was demonstrated in the failed collective bargaining process.

The miners' strike adds another headache to the government at a time when the country's economy is suffering as a result of the trade and technology war between the United States and China, which has affected international copper prices by around seven percent.

In addition, in the first quarter of the year Codelco's profits fell to 372 million dollars, 31 percent less than in the same period in 2018, as a result of climate problems in the north of the country and 5.5 percent lower production.

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