“The company’s proposal failed to meet the expectations and needs of our members,” the release reads.
Now, Antofagasta has four days to ask the Labour Department for mediation. If the company decides to take this route, it will have another five working days to negotiate a deal that could cancel the strike action. If no agreement is reached, workers may go on strike as early as October 12.
“With these results, Los Pelambres and its shareholders must understand that their workers demand to be respected, valued and fairly compensated for their contributions in terms of both production and profits, which are higher than those generated by other operations within the [Antofagasta] Group,” the communiqué reads. “We hope that they are up to the task in the next stage of negotiation.”
It is still uncertain how a stoppage at Los Pelambres would affect Antofagasta’s full-year copper production. However, the company had already announced, back in June, that it was likely to reach only the lower end of its previous guidance of 660-690,000 tonnes, following a series of community-led blockades and protests in the High Valley of Salamanca.