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Codelco workers’ strike has no justification: chief exec

Keywords: Tags  Thomas Keller Lippold, Codelco, worker strike, unions, Cesco Week, Andrea Hotter

SANTIAGO, Chile — Copper producer Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco) made contingency plans to cope with the one-day national strike April 9, which the company said was unjustified, president and chief executive officer Thomas Keller Lippold told AMM.

"I am convinced there is no reason to justify this action. Most of the arguments raised to carry out the action are totally unrelated to Codelco," he said in an interview in Santiago, noting that the company had offered to meet with the unions but to no avail. "Clearly, the motivations are somewhere else. There are industry-specific issues, company-specific issues and, of course, we are in an election year, which is usually fertile ground for demands to be made by various sectors of unions."

Santiago-based Codelco’s unionized workers staged the one-day strike at the company’s operations during the Center for Copper and Mining Studies’ annual Cesco Week in Santiago to reach maximum publicity, market participants said.

Tensions at Chuquicamata, the company’s largest project, have increased, with unions asking the company to replace outsourced workers with internal ones.

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