July 23, 2018 / 11:33 PM / 3 months ago

Chile's Escondida copper mine to present final contract offer to union Tuesday

SANTIAGO, July 23 (Reuters) - The management at Chile’s Escondida copper mine, the world’s largest, said on Monday it would deliver its final labor contract offer to the labor union on Tuesday amid tense contract negotiations ahead of a possible strike.

The announcement from Escondida, controlled by BHP, comes after the union told its members last week that the talks for a new contract were frozen without hope for a deal, raising the prospects of another work stoppage after a 44-day strike last year jolted global markets for the red metal.

In a statement, the company said it had formally invited representatives of its workers’ union for a meeting for Tuesday, the negotiating deadline. It did not specify what changes it had made to its prior offers.

The union, known as Sindicato 1, was not immediately available for comment on Monday.

Escondida earlier this month had presented a contract offer that included a $23,000 signing bonus for the end of the negotiations and a salary readjustment linked to inflation.

The union, however, had declared that proposal “unacceptable.”

Chile is the world’s largest copper producer and exporter. (Reporting by Felipe Iturrieta; writing by Luc Cohen, editing by G Crosse)

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