SANTIAGO, June 21 (Reuters) - Labor unions at Chile’s state-owned copper miner Codelco said on Sunday that measures taken by the company against the spread of the novel coronavirus were insufficient and threatened to take steps to force stricter health policies.
On Saturday the death of the second Codelco employee from the virus was confirmed, prompting the company to suspend construction projects in northern Chile and take other steps aimed at reducing the circulation of workers.
Amid an effort to reorganize its much-criticized reporting of virus-related deaths, the Chilean government over the weekend increased its estimated number of fatal cases in the country to more than 7,000 from a previously confirmed 4,265.
The Federation of Copper Workers (FTC) union said it would take measures if the company’s health protocols are not further tightened. It did not specify what measures it might take.
“Under no pretext will we accept the prioritization of production if we are not guaranteed urgent preventive measures of the highest standard,” the FTC said in a statement.
In addition to Codelco, other international companies operate in the South American country such as BHP Group Ltd , Anglo American Plc, Glencore Plc, Antofagasta Plc, Freeport McMoRan.
Reporting by Fabian Cambero, writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Lisa Shumaker