Mantos Blancos mine not affected by protests - Anglo American
The global miner said its operations at the copper mine in northern Chile were not affected by the protests of temporary workers
SANTIAGO (Reuters) -
Global miner Anglo American (AAL.L: Quote) said on Thursday operations at its small Mantos Blancos copper mine in northern Chile were not affected by a protest of temporary workers, only days after staff workers signed a collective agreement.
Anglo American spokesman Marcelo Esquivel said a small group of subcontract workers protested outside the mine's restaurant, but did not block roads or halt operations at the deposit that produced 90,153 tonnes of copper last year.
The mine's nearly 400 staff workers on Tuesday inked a new 3-year contract for a one-time 3 percent wage hike and about $13,600 in bonuses and soft loans.
The deal defuses the risk of supply disruptions in the world's top copper producer, Chile. Mantos Blancos was one of at least four mines whose workers' contracts expire later this year.
Subcontractor leader Luis Echeverria said 400 workers went on strike to demand higher salaries similar to their staff worker peers and temporarily halted some operations at the mine's processing.
However, a staff union leader told Reuters that it was a small demonstration and operations remained normal at the mine that produces around 14 percent of Anglo's total output in Chile, the world's top copper producer.
Another subcontractor leader threatened to step up demonstrations and block access roads to the mine on Friday to pressure the company into negotiations.
Temporary workers do jobs that range from cooking to mineral extraction and transportation, and usually are paid less than staff workers.
A subcontractor protest that halted operations at the Massive Collahuasi copper mine in May fueled fears of protests at other mine as temporary workers demand higher wages from mining companies. (Reporting by Fabian Cambero and Alonso Soto; Editing by Marguerita Choy, Gary Hill)
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