"The union of workers for BHP’s sprawling Escondida mine said on Friday it had delivered an initial proposal for a new collective labor contract, marking the opening salvo in much-watched negotiations at the world’s largest copper deposit."
Reuters, June 4, 2021
- The strikes started on Thursday, May 27, and continues as of this blog post (June 14). The initial strike was started by workers who performed remotes operations for Escondida and Spence mines. The much larger union for onsite workers began its own negotiations on June 4.
- According to the June 4 Reuters article, the on-site workers union delivered proposal demands "a one-time signing bonus equivalent to “1% of dividends paid to the mine’s owners” - BHP, Rio Tinto and Jeco Corporation - plus a 5% salary increase, a “just and objective” system of career of development, and ongoing merit-based worker bonuses" and gave the company 10 days to respond.
- A prior Reuters article from May 28, stated that BHP hired non-union replacement workers for the remote operations of the Escondida and Spence mines, so production has been unaffected. The union is balking at the company's use of non-union replacements.
- According to a Bloomberg article from June 14, on-site workers for the smaller Spence mine negotiated an 11th-hour deal for a three-year contract which included a wage increase, bonus, and better benefits. Negotiations with Escondida's on-site workers are still ongoing.