Codelco’s Chuquicamata Miners Now Seek Wage Hike

23 November 2009 (Last Updated November 23rd, 2009 18:30)

Codelco's Chuquicamata miners in Chile are seeking a 7.5% hike in wages from the company during contract negotiations. Three unions with combined strength of 6,000 members, which represent 95% of the mine's workers, also asked for additional education and health benefits in a new 30-mon

Codelco's Chuquicamata miners in Chile are seeking a 7.5% hike in wages from the company during contract negotiations.

Three unions with combined strength of 6,000 members, which represent 95% of the mine's workers, also asked for additional education and health benefits in a new 30-month contract.

One of the Chuquicamata’s key union leaders, Victor Galleguillos, said that in earlier wage talks the miners received a 3.8% salary hike.

"The unions will do everything to secure a deal with the administration ... however, a strike is always one of the options if no deal is reached," Galleguillos said.

During wage talks, bonuses for miners will also be a topic of discussion.

Codelco, which is also facing wage hike demands from other miners, has a fortnight to respond to the miner's demands in order to begin official talks, which should conclude prior to the expiration of the contract on 31 December.

Codelco is currently in talks with Andina miners concerning their request for a 5% salary hike with their contract slated for expiration on 30 November.