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Antofagasta´s Centinela union rejects contract offer, opens door to strike

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - A union at Antofagasta Minerals’ Centinela copper mine in Chile rejected a contract offer from the company on Monday, paving the way for a strike at the small deposit, its president told Reuters.

Under Chilean law, once a union approves a strike, the parties then attend five days of government-mediated talks, which can be extended for an additional five days. After that, workers may initiate a strike.

The president of the Distrito Centinela union told Reuters it planned to inform the company of its workers’ decision and await the start of the government-led negotiations.

The Minera Esperanza union, the other of the mine’s two unions, began its own mediation process on Monday in an attempt to stave off a strike, the union’s chief, Leonardo Carvajal, told Reuters.

Minera Centinela produced 276,600 tons of copper in 2019.

Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Dan Grebler

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