WORKERS IN CHILE’S BIGGEST COPPER MINE SLAM LAYOFFS, PRIVATIZATION
Restive miners of the Codelco Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco) or the National Copper Corp. of Chile have warned to launch strikes and other mass actions should the state-owned firm lay off more workers or privatize the company.
Codelco is the largest copper producing company in the world, producing at least 1.66 million metric tons of copper in 2007, 11% of the world total. It had a revenue of $10-billion in 2010 and employed 17,880 people, teleSUR reported on September 6, 2020.
The Federation of Copper Workers (FTC) warned on Friday that they would take action to protect their jobs if Codelco's executives jeopardize them amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with copper production slashed by 5 percent in July and 49,000 jobs were lost. All told, employment in the mining industry decreased 21 percent in the last 12 months.
The FTC said in a statement that "it will ensure the unrestricted defense of employment amid this pandemic," as tensions between the company's representatives and the miners have escalated in recent months over threats of massive layoffs and lack of safety measures. "We reject that Codelco is committed to upholding a management model contrary to that for modern companies, discarding principles of the relationship between the parties established in the binding document Strategic Pact for Chile," the FTC stressed in a statement.