For the third time in eleven years, Chile’s privately-owned copper mine, which provides a mind-boggling five percent of the world’s total copper output, is on strike:
Workers at BHP Billiton Copper Mine In Chile Go On Strike. Move follows unsuccessful talks for new collective bargaining agreement, union official says
The decision to walk off the job is raising concerns in Chile about the strike’s impact on the economy, which was already posting weak growth. The economy expanded 1.2% in December, as mining activity contracted 3%, the central bank said Monday. Escondida accounts for about 19% of Chile’s production of copper, the country’s top export earner.
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Labor disputes have flared up in Chile’s mining sector over the past year as worker demands conflict with company efforts to cut costs by reducing benefits and laying off employees due to low commodity prices.
Undoubtedly, the strike may raise copper prices in the short term. the real question is, what effect will the strike have on Chile’s weak economy, especially if it drags on, since
Escondida accounts for about 19% of Chile’s production of copper, the country’s top export earner.
Fire at BHP’s Escondida mine in Chile injures three
BHP Said to Declare Force Majeure on Shipments From Escondida
Meaning “greater force,” force majeure is a contractual clause used when suppliers can’t meet obligations because of circumstances beyond their control.
Strike at BHP’s Escondida copper mine in Chile enters second day