The mining company BHP is being accused of anti-union practices and safety violations, so with the strike, the workers intend to "claim and resolve recurring violations of safety and labor laws."
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Without specifying a date for the start of the action, the workers agreed to initiate a 12-hour warning strike for each shift and a subsequent "definitive strike" in case their demands met deaf ears.
The Workers' Union said in a statement, "as of this moment, our contingency plans are activated, both to prepare in a first action the shift stoppages and then the indefinite strike."
According to the workers, the mining company fails to provide safe working conditions, putting "at risk the physical integrity of those who work on the sites."
Workers at Chile's Escondida copper mine threaten to strike over security concerns. They allege that the mining company has not responded to complaints made about possible security risks.
The company's anti-union practices and labor law violations are also criticized by the workers, who complain about the constant violation of their rights.
The private Escondida copper mine, located in the Antofagasta region of northern Chile, is the world's largest copper mine. With Anglo-Australian BHP (57.5%), Rio Tinto (30%) and Japanese Jeco (12.5%) as owners, it is responsible for the production of some 1.1 million tons of copper per year.