INTRODUCTION: Six mining unions in Chile have agreed to end a 41-day strike at the state owned El Teniente copper mine.
GV Street PAN TO company office.
CU Nameplate reading "Codelco - Chile".
SV Mr. Pedro Bolt (left) giving documents to union leaders.(2 SHOTS)
SV Union officials including union president Guillermo Medina sign accord. (5 SHOTS)
SV & GV Guillermo Medina addressing delegates (2 SHOTS)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Six mining unions in Chile have agreed to end a 41-day strike at the state owned El Teniente copper mine. An agreement ending the dispute was signed on Monday (1 June) in the offices of the mining company. But two other unions at an adjacent copper refinery have voted to remain on strike.
SYNOPSIS: The strike seriously disrupted production at El Teniente, the world's largest underground copper mine. More than 8,000 workers had been on strike since April in support of a ten per cent pay claim. The management had offered two per cent. The Government steered clear of the dispute, as strikes are permitted in certain limited circumstances in Chile. Management had claimed it could not afford to meet the union's demands.
Repeated efforts to solve the dispute failed. Then the company offered to pay miners a bonus of 450 dollars while sticking to their original offer of a two per cent increase on basic pay. Management also offered to revise salaries on a yearly basis in future, instead of bi-annually. They also promised there would be no reprisals against the strikers. The accord was presented to union officials who had gathered in the company offices to sign the agreement. Last to sign was the union president, Guillermo Medina, a renowned figure in Chilean labour circles.
While the miners at El Teniente voted to return to their jobs, fellow workers at two smaller mines were reported to be still on strike. Union officials had predicted that the earlier dispute might spark a wave of labour strife throughout the country. Business executives are now working to prevent this from happening.