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Chilean workers to walk out after pay slashed

CHILEAN mine workers are set to walk out in a national strike today after rejecting an offer from mining privateers who have slashed their pay and terms and conditions.

Antofagasta Miner’s Union No 1 members will walk out after negotiations with the Zaldivar Mining Company broke down.

“If the company does not recognise our contribution and sacrifice, it will face an extensive strike that will completely halt production,” the union said.

More than 95 per cent of the union members rejected a contract that would see the withdrawal of workers’ benefits and guarantees.

Zaldivar, which is owned by Antofagasta, said it needed to slash wages because of the global Covid-19 pandemic, but the union rejected this.

Miners in Centinela are expected to be joined by others in today’s stoppage.

“Mining workers are maintaining production at a high cost to our health, as more and more people are infected with coronaviruses in our ranks. However, we cannot accept the exploitation of the owners,” the union said.

It called for the government to intervene and mediate in negotiations with mining bosses.

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