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Miners at the world's largest copper company go on indefinite strike

Mining industry / South America
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Employees of the Chilean Codelco, the largest copper mining company in the world, went on an indefinite strike. They are protesting against the closure of the smelter. The government decided to shut down the plant due to the large environmental impact. Trade unions, on the other hand, are afraid of mass layoffs and say that instead of closing, the authorities could invest in the installation of modern sewage treatment systems.

Miners at the world's largest copper company go on indefinite strike

The union of workers at Chile's largest mining company, Codelco, has launched a nationwide strike to demand that the government's decision to close one of the group's mines be overturned.

"Workers at Chuquicamata, the world's largest copper, gold and molybdenum open pit mine, have already joined the national strike in support of Ventanas plant personnel for Chilean copper smelted and refined in Chile," the union said in a blog post on Twitter.

The final decision to close the Ventanas smelter was made by President Gabriel Borić on June 17, after a thirty-year discussion about the pollution of the region with sulfur dioxide and particulate matter.

Employees of the state-owned company demand that the authorities cancel the decision to close the enterprise, which employs about 800 people, and declare the government's intention to privatize the state-owned company, tacitly depriving it of investments.

In a statement released the day before, union workers warned that any attempt to influence the striking miners would radicalize the protest.

Codelco is the world's largest copper producer and Chile's largest taxpayer. The company, which employs over 15 thousand people, produces about 8% of the world's copper.

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