The union representing workers at Chile’s La Escondida copper mine voted to reject the most recent contract offer from the mine’s owner and strike, potentially risking disruptions to the supply of a key metal.
- BHP Group Limited controls the world’s largest copper mine, producing almost 5% of the global supply of metal, which is used in making electrical wiring and motors and in construction.
- Under the law, miners must continue working during the obligatory mediation period of up to 10 days, so a strike is not confirmed yet.
- Voting to authorize a strike is a common tactic used across industries as a negotiating strategy.
- The union stated that the contract offer did not advance a request for a one-time bonus for workers for keeping the mine operating during the pandemic.
Irrespective of whether the strike happens, it is a major cause of investor panic as copper inventories at exchanges have plummeted. The market is also experiencing tighter demand, outstripping supply that is struggling to rebound to pre-Covid levels.
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Source: The WallStreet Journal