Workers at BHP’s Escondida copper mine in northern Chile threatened to strike on Wednesday over what they described as safety concerns, the mine’s union said.
Union workers say Escondida, the world’s largest copper mine, has failed to respond to ongoing complaints about potential safety hazards.
Chile’s President Gabriel Boric said last month he wanted to ratify an International Labor Organization convention on health and safety in mines after two workers were killed during a mine construction project. in July and the opening of a huge sinkhole near a copper mine.
In a statement, the union said it had contacted “Minera Escondida-BHP to request the resolution of numerous cases of non-compliance, violations and persistent violations, requesting the initiation of negotiations to resolve the matter.” solve them quickly.”
The union added that it “will hold a vote which will end tonight, to decide on the start of a partial strike and then an indefinite strike, if the situation is not resolved. “.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. If requests are not resolved, workers will plan to stop working in 12-hour shifts on September 12, and 14 after which they will go on strike indefinitely. In March, workers at Escondida also threatened to stop working for breaching their collective contract, but the company denied it.