Strike continues at Codelco copper mine; union plans more action

Miners set up roadblock at world's largest copper producer
||Last Updated: 09/17/2013

SANTIAGO (Reuters) — A strike that began last week at the small Salvador copper mine in Chile and owned by Chile's Codelco shows no signs of ending as the union has threatened more radical action after what it said was a lack of engagement from the company.

Salvador produced 62,700 tonnes of copper in 2012 - less than four per cent of the total production of Chile's state-owned Codelco, the world's biggest copper producer.

It was not known how the strike has affected the mine's production as Codelco has declined to comment on the matter.

Although in itself small, the market is watching for any signs of an escalation at the mine. The strike is at an awkward time for Codelco, which is planning ambitious investments.

Protesting workers blocked a nearby road for several hours on Wednesday, the union said.

"It's a warning so that they know that we workers can take more drastic action," union representative Waldo Gomez told Reuters.

Gomez added that a union assembly had taken the decision to radicalize the protest, which began last Thursday over contract negotiations.

Only essential supplies were reaching the mine, he said.

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