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Strike at Codelco's Chuquicamata mine imminent as workers rebuff labor deal

A strike at Codelco's Chuquicamata copper mine in Chile is imminent as unionized workers rebuffed the miner's final contract offer, which included a US$14,150 bonus per worker and a 1.2% salary raise, Reuters reported May 26.

A walkoff would require the approval of more than half of the mine's 3,200 unionized workers during a vote slated this week, the report said. It said workers may strike the week of June 3.

"Union members … categorically reject this final offer … which we consider to be a mockery of our legitimate demands, our rights and our contributions to Codelco," the three largest unions at the mine said.

The state-run miner began underground mining operations at Chuquicamata in April, part of a 10-year, US$40 billion overhaul of aging facilities.