SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Unionized mine workers in Chile, the world’s top copper producer, warned on Thursday that health should take precedence over output, one day after state-run Codelco’s unions threatened a walkout at some of its operations.
Workers with the Federation of Copper Workers said there had been an “alarming” spike in coronavirus cases at some mines, one week after a miner at the company´s massive Chuquicamata mine died from COVID-19.
“This is a general warning, in case the administration does not take the measures,” Liliana Ugarte, head of the Chuquicamata 2 union, told Reuters on Thursday. “The lives of our people are more important than any production targets.”
Codelco declined to comment on the federation’s statement. Regional mining officials told Reuters they had inspected Chuquicamata and spoke with workers there on Wednesday to verify compliance with health safety requirements.