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Codelco strikes wage deal with workers at Chuquicamata copper mine in Chile

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Codelco strikes wage deal with workers at Chuquicamata copper mine in Chile

Codelco struck a wage deal with workers at its Chuquicamata copper mine after successful negotiations, averting the risk of a potential strike, Reuters reported Dec. 16.

Six unions accepted the early wage deal offered by the state-run copper miner, the union leaders and Codelco confirmed.

The 27-month deal offers no salary increase but includes per-head bonuses of about 4.3 million Chilean pesos, or US$6,390, as well as the agreed-upon benefits from previous talks.

Collective contracts at Chuquicamata are due to expire in February 2017, but the parties kicked off negotiations several weeks ahead of schedule to allow time to try to reach an agreement.

Codelco had earlier indicated that it would maintain its recent policy of zero raises and tighter bonuses as the company implements cost-cutting measures across operations.

The wage talks at Chuquicamata are seen as a trendsetter for the industry and a precursor of contract negotiations due at the country's other copper mines in coming months, including at BHP Billiton Group's Escondida mine.

As of Dec. 16, US$1 was equivalent to 670.30 Chilean pesos.