Centinela copper mine's union head says sides far apart in talks to avoid strike

18th May 2023 By: Reuters

SANTIAGO - A union of supervisors at Antofagasta's Centinela copper in Chile are "very far" from an agreement with the company to avoid a strike, the union's president told Reuters.

Last week, 97% of union members voted for a strike after rejecting the company's last formal proposal, but began five days of mediation with the government on Monday.

"The company has not presented a significant proposal," Celso Pardo, the union's president, said. "Until now, there's no important progress and we're very far from an agreement."

The two sides differ over social issues and matters linked to production, he added.

Mediation will last until May 22, and a strike could start during the first shift on Tuesday May 23 if there is no agreement, the union president said.

In a statement to Reuters, Antofagasta said it preferred not to discuss ongoing collective bargaining issues with the media, but that it was confident an agreement could be reached, citing cooperation between both sides.