A crucial vote on mining ends this Wednesday. Minera Escondida Workers Union No. 1, an organization uniting 2,400 workers, opened on August 31. The voting process, which will conclude at 10:00 tonight, will mark the beginning of partial strikes and then for an indefinite period, unless the situation of disobedience and violations they denounce is resolved.
Therefore, workers must decide whether to vote for a strike or not. Also, if the stoppage is supported, it will continue to be enforced if the company does not promptly fix the claimed problems. A 12-hour shift strike followed by an indefinite strike will begin on September 12 and 14.
As detailed by the organization in a letter, it has sent communications to Minera Escondida-BHP, in which it has demanded – they say – “the resolution of multiple non-compliances, violations and sustained violations, requesting the initiation of dialogues to resolve them immediately. .”
However, the union claims The company has yet to respond to high-profile complaints, ignoring its violations “even in matters of the greatest gravity, such as the safety and protection of workers.”
what happen? Union says On September 5, the National Service of Geology and Mining (Sernagiomin) examined conditions that represented unsafe conditions for mining operations.“The lives and physical integrity of the workers working on the site are at risk, The authority is ordered to partially close dumping areas in case of major landslides during operation.Update of soil studies calls for it to be reopened”.
Also, they add, “It was possible to establish the failure to notify the authorities of another serious incident of the generation of a sink hole into which a truck was about to fall.”
“These conditions are extremely serious and make us fear that tragedies like the one caused by BHP’s gross negligence at Samarco in Brazil will happen,” the workers say.
The union blames the inaction of the Labor Inspectorate for facilitating the situation.Complaints and claims have not been settled for more than a year and apart from the meetings we held with the Director of Labor and the Minister of Labour, they have not been allowed to fulfill their obligations.
The organization points out that it has decided to file a complaint with the Comptroller General of the Republic for dereliction of duty.
The situation at Minera Escondida comes months after the fatal accidents at Codelco.
Defense of the company
Regarding Workers Union No. 1’s allegations, in a statement, Escondida assured that the company has complied with all its labor and contractual obligations. However, he added, “The union has declared an illegal strikeAs the law lays down clear and peaceful mechanisms for the settlement of disputes of all kinds”.
He emphasized the unsafe conditions in the operation: “Escondida- BHP clarifies. As a precaution and in accordance with its protocols, it temporarily closed the affected areas. These actions were reported in advance to Sernagiomin, an organization organized to maintain the preventive measures already taken.
“The remaining production areas of our operation are operating normally, protecting the health and safety of people. Escondida-BHP reiterates its compliance with legal regulations as well as the resolutions of the relevant authorities.