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  • Employment in this sector decreased by 21 percent during the last twelve months as 49.000 jobs were lost

    Employment in this sector decreased by 21 percent during the last twelve months as 49.000 jobs were lost | Photo: EFE/ Mario Ruiz

Published 4 September 2020
Opinion

Chile is the world´s largest copper producer however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic production rate decreased by 5 percent in July.

Chile's Federation of Copper Workers (FTC) warned on Friday that they would take action to protect their jobs if Codelco's executives jeopardize them amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The FTC said in a statement that "it will ensure the unrestricted defense of employment amid this pandemic," as tensions between the company's representatives and the miners have escalated in recent months over threats of massive layoffs and lack of safety measures.

"We reject that Codelco is committed to upholding a management model contrary to that for modern companies, discarding principles of the relationship between the parties established in the binding document Strategic Pact for Chile," the FTC stressed in a statement.

On September 30, 2015, the FTC and Codelco's administration signed the Strategic Pact for Chile, ultimately legitimized by former president Michelle Bachelet. The pact established the commitment of including the worker's opinion and participation in the decision-making process within Chile's largest state-owned company.

"#LaboralDialogue @FTCabout categorically reiterates that it will ensure the IRRESTRICT DEFENSE OF EMPLOYMENT amid this pandemic and will protect the working conditions and union gains of its representatives in @CodelcoChile @MinMineria_cl @bprokurica @ctmineria @ Dutch."

The FTC also denounced that President Sebastián Piñera has not appointed a representative to integrate Codelco's board of directors, which was expected to occur in May.

"By criminalizing leadership actions, firing and taking benefits from workers, they will never be able to compensate for the bad management and economic losses for our country, nor will they divert their critical gaze from the mistakes made," the FTC pointed out as Codelco's executives have not replied thus far.

According to the National Society of Mining, employment in this sector decreased by 21 percent during the last twelve months as 49.000 jobs were lost, the lowest rate ever publishes by Chile's National Institute of Statistics since 2013 when it started to gather mining sector data.

Chile is the world's largest copper producer; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the production rate decreased by 5 percent in July.

Furthermore, according to data from the Mining Council, Codelco is the company with the most significant amount of COVID-19 infection and deaths. As of July, there were over 3.215 cases reported.

 

  

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