UPDATE 1-Chilean workers halt strike at Escondida copper mine
SANTIAGO Aug 15 (Reuters) - Workers at the world's largest copper mine, Chile's Escondida, have halted a strike, a union leader said on Thursday, but left the door open for further action.
Escondida, controlled by global miner BHP Billiton , produced around 1.1 million tonnes of copper last year.
BHP declined to comment on Thursday.
Workers began the surprise strike on Wednesday to demand improved working conditions and an annual bonus, which they say has not been given this year.
Union leader Marcelo Tapia said that the workers returned to their jobs after a 24 hour walkout and are awaiting a response from the company.
"Tomorrow night we will meet again with those starting their shifts, and we could take decisions of this type again," Tapia said.
He said the strikers have not met company representatives.
Labor action has been galvanized in Chile, the world's top copper exporter, as workers seek to air their issues before November's presidential election.
Escondida's workers clinched a new contract agreement in January, easing fears at the time of strikes or other labor action.
The mine's union stunned the copper market in 2011 by staging a two-week work stoppage, sending the mine's output tumbling.
The market has appeared largely unruffled by news of Wednesday's strike, however, with the copper price slipping on Thursday on reports of increased global production after a macroeconomic-driven rally.
- Exclusive: Secret contract tied NSA and security industry pioneer |
- Obama girls get dating advice from their watchful dad
- Accused Colorado theater gunman competent to stand trial, evaluators say
- Seattle students protest gay Catholic school teacher's resignation
- Analysis: Lost Brazil order raises threat to Boeing fighter jets