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Workers at Chile's Los Pelambres mine reach deal on labor agreement - union

SANTIAGO, March 26 (Reuters) - Workers at Antofagasta PLC’s Los Pelambres copper mine in Chile reached agreement on a new labor contract, defusing the risk of a strike, the union said on Monday.

Workers in the mine’s largest union had last week rejected an offer for a new labor contract, triggering a period of government mediation and raising the spectre of the first-ever strike at a mine owned by Chilean miner Antofagasta.

The new contract, agreed upon by 82 percent of union members, includes a signing bonus of $30,500 per worker, and an average salary increase of 3 percent.

“After six months of negotiations, we’ve reached a satisfactory deal. All of the conditions and benefits we obtained are above market-average,” said Sergio Munoz, president of Los Pelambres’ largest union of workers.

Antofagasta did not immediate reply to requests for comment.

Los Pelambres, which recently received environmental approval for a $1.1 billion infrastructure upgrade plan, produced 356,300 tons of copper last year.

Chile is the world’s top copper producer. (Reporting by Antonio De la Jara, writing by Dave Sherwood Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)