Make Kitco Your Homepage

Codelco workers in Chile to start national strike on Wednesday - union

Kitco News

SANTIAGO, June 20 (Reuters) - Workers at Chile's state-owned Codelco will start a nationwide strike on Wednesday to protest the government's and the company's decision to close a troubled smelter, a union official said.

"We are going to start on Wednesday in the first shift," Amador Pantoja, president of the Federation of Copper Workers (FTC), told Reuters Monday.

Workers had threatened a national strike if the board of directors did not invest to upgrade a troubled smelter located in a saturated industrial zone in Chile's central coast.

Instead, Codelco said on Friday that it would terminate its Ventanas smelter, which has been closed for maintenance and operational adjustments after a recent environmental incident sickened dozens in the region.

The unionized workers insist Ventanas needs $53 million dollars for capsules that retain gases and allow the smelter to operate under environmental compliance, which was dismissed by the government.

(Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Alexander Villegas; Editing by Tom Hogue and Sam Holmes)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.