SANTIAGO Aug 26 Contract workers at Chilean
copper mines are planning a one-day strike next month, demanding
changes to labor laws, a union head said on Tuesday.
The stoppage on Sept. 4 is being held by the Confederation
of Copper Workers (CTC). Union members are contractors, many of
whom supply services such as catering to mines, meaning that
production in the world's top copper producer is unlikely to be
CTC president Manuel Ahumada said that the strike is aimed
at putting pressure on the center-left government of Michelle
Bachelet to move forward with promised reforms on strengthening
unions and the right to strike.
"Labor reforms were announced but the discussion hasn't
advanced," Ahumada said.
Bachelet, who took power in March, is pushing a wide range
of reforms through Congress aimed at addressing inequality in
Most crucial copper workers in Chile belong to local plant
unions, who are not taking part in the strike, although Ahumada
said it would be difficult for the mines to run normally without
the contract workers.
Copper production in Chile is led by state-run
Codelco, with private companies such as BHP Billiton
, Anglo American, Glencore, and
Antofagasta Minerals also running operations.
(Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Rosalba O'Brien;
Editing by Grant McCool)