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Nn votes against Escondida collective contract offer - Union
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Sunday, 30 Dec 2012

BNamericas reported that unionized workers at the BHP Billiton-controlled Escondida copper mine in northern Chile's region II have rejected the offer from management as part of the ongoing early collective contract negotiations.

No 1 union secretary Marcelo Tapia told BNamericas that voting on the offer was set to begin on January 2, following a series of information sessions for union workers that began on December 21. However, during these informational assemblies, workers have unofficially been voting to reject the offer.

Mr Tapia said that "There was no vote; there was a show of hands. The assembly rejected the proposal by a show of hands explaining that this has since been the case at all of the following union meetings.”

According to Mr Tapia, the primary reason that unionized workers are not satisfied with the proposal from Escondida is that it does not include improvements to production and management bonuses.

He said that if the company does not improve its offer, the collective contract negotiations will play out in July 2013 as originally scheduled.

Before the informational assemblies commenced, Mr Tapia had told BNamericas that he didn't think the offer met workers' expectations. Prior to that, the company's delayed response to the union's counteroffer had led to doubts regarding the possibility of reaching a favorable agreement during the early negotiation process.

Last year, union workers at the mine held a two-week strike, halting operations and generating millions in losses for the company. At this point, however, a strike is not a likely possibility, Tapia confirmed.

Source – BNamericas


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