SANTIAGO, June 14 Workers at Chile's Collahuasi
have voted to approve a new, early contract proposal, the union
told Reuters on Friday, calming fears of labor unrest at the
world's third-largest copper deposit.
Nearly 90 percent of the 1,090 workers who voted cast their
ballots in favor of the deal to replace a contract due to expire
in April 2014. Under the new four-year contract, workers will
receive a 3.5 percent salary increase, a roughly $31,900 bonus
and a loan worth $6,000. Union leaders are due to sign the
contract on Friday.
The anticipated contract deal mirrors a recent trend in top
copper producer Chile, where miners have increasingly sought to
reach early, sweetened deals with their unions to lessen the
risk of strikes.
Production at Collahuasi, owned by Anglo American Plc
, Glencore Xstrata Plc and a group of Japanese
companies led by Mitsui & Co, is expected to recover
this year after a tough 2012.
Last year, the mine's output nosedived to 282,100 tonnes
from 453,300 tonnes in 2011.
Two key mines reached early contract deals in recent months,
soothing some fears of strikes. World No. 1 copper producer
Escondida settled early with its union in January, while state
copper firm Codelco reached a fresh deal with workers at its
Andina mine in October.