December 12, 2017 / 7:43 PM / 2 years ago

Workers at Chile's Quebrada Blanca mine set to strike -union

SANTIAGO, Dec 12 (Reuters) - A union at Teck Resources’ Quebrada Blanca copper mine in Chile is set to strike after contract talks mediated by the Chilean government failed to reach a deal, the union told Reuters.

Union 1 president Jorge Flores said workers had failed to find agreement with the company on a bonus scheme that would put it on equal footing with the mine’s other unions.

“We were unable to reach a deal with the company, and so we will begin to strike on our first shift tomorrow at 7 a.m.,” said Flores.

A company official was not immediately available for comment.

Flores said the 105-member union represents only a quarter of the mine’s workforce, but predicted the walk-off would likely affect production.

“Our people work in key positions {in the mine} and we believe operations will be affected,” Flores said.

The mine’s remaining unions earlier this year opted to extend their contracts for 15 months, leaving negotiations until 2018.

Quebrada Blanca has produced 17,300 tonnes of copper so far this year. Chile is the world’s top copper producer. (Reporting by Dave Sherwood; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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