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Workers at Chile's Codelco threaten action in job conditions row

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, is seen at their headquarters in downtown Santiago, Chile March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado/File Photo

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Workers at Chile’s state-owned miner Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, said on Friday that they would take “action” against what they describe as threats to their jobs.

Tensions with between unions and the Chilean company have risen over complaints about coronavirus prevention measures and the pricing of insurance.

The Federation of Copper Workers (FTC), which represents the mining company’s unions, said the company was in “violation of rights that were legitimately won.”

The FTC “will deploy each and every one of the actions that are at its disposal, aimed at safeguarding the working conditions,” the statement said.

Codelco, which has been undertaking a cost cutting plan in recent years, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Its chief executive Octavio Araneda has said that Codelco is moving forward with automation in an attempt to improve its productivity, which has led to union disputes over job cuts.

The mining company’s production fell in July under pressure from coronavirus restrictions, but accumulated a 2.3% increase in the year.

The FTC indicated that it was open to talks and would seek an agreement with the company.

Reporting by Fabian Cambero and Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Dan Grebler and Alexander Smith

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