Workers Strike at World's Largest Copper Mine

July 11, 2011
Mine produces 11% of global copper

The union representing workers at Chile's Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, announced a 24-hour strike on July 11 over modernization plans they say would amount to the start of privatization.

The strike -- the company's first in 18 years -- will halt work at a state-owned mining operation that produces 11% of the world's copper.

The nationwide strike will affect all units of the company, said Raimundo Espinoza, president of the Federation of Copper Workers, which represents 15,000 Codelco workers.

The workers are opposed to a modernization plan being implemented by company officials appointed after President Sebastian Pinera -- the first conservative to take office in Chile 20 years -- was elected last year.

The changes will lead to the loss of some 2,600 jobs, amounting to more than 10% of the workforce.

The strike will result in losses of some $40 million, the company said earlier, and is being held on the 40th anniversary of Codelco's foundation.

Codelco head Diego Hernandez denied that the modernization plans would result in the company being privatized, but acknowledged that the workers are unhappy with the changes.

The strike "is in part unease over the changes that the company has implemented and must continue carrying out," Hernandez said on July 10.

Unionized workers went on strike at sites including the giant copper mines of Chuquicamata, El Teniente and Andina.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Gain a competitive edge with real-world lessons on private 5G networks

Nov. 16, 2023
The use of private networks in manufacturing applications is rapidly growing. In this paper, we present valuable insights and lessons learned from the field with the goal of enhancing...

Lean Manufacturing in the Age of the Industrial Internet

Oct. 24, 2023
Read how advanced MES capabilities can help you improve your labor utilization, reduce WIP, and optimize your production. Download the white paper today.

Digitally Transforming Data and Processes With Product Lifecycle Management

Oct. 29, 2023
Manufacturers face increasing challenges in product development as they strive to consistently deliver improved results. Discover how industry leaders are improving time-to-market...

How Manufacturers Can Optimize Operations with Weather Intelligence

Nov. 2, 2023
The bad news? Severe weather has emerged as one of the biggest threats to continuity and safety in manufacturing. The good news? The intelligence solutions that build weather ...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!