Here’s Alonso Soto (very good reporter, by the way) on the current scene in Chile’s copper mining protests, industrial relations and what’s in the pipeline. Recommended read.
Chile’s copper output could take hit from protestsAlonso Soto, May 12
SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Miners in the world’s top copper producer, Chile, risk a slew of subcontractor protests that could curb global supply if they don’t move quickly to boost benefits and pay for part-time workers.
State-owned Codelco, the world’s biggest producer, has settled bonuses with subcontractors, and so has the biggest mine, Escondida, so these key producers are less likely to be hit by demonstrations. But big risks remain elsewhere, as workers demand a bigger share of booming profits stemming from high copper prices.
A five-day subcontractors protest at Chile’s No. 3 copper mine Collahuasi cut 3.3 percent of the world’s mined output and fanned fears of contagion. For the main story click on
Talks broke down on Tuesday, raising the specter of violence as subcontractors threatened to step up their fight at the mine, 4,400 meters above sea level in the Andes mountains.
In a worst case, widespread subcontractor demonstrations could hurt output in Chile enough to cut global copper production by 18 percent, boosting prices for the red metal.
“Companies have to start giving out bonuses and improving working conditions for subcontractors if they don’t want this to get out of hand,” said Pedro Marin, head of continues here