Chile Escondida miners to vote on offer, strike threat lingers
SANTIAGO, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Workers at Chile's Escondida, the world's biggest copper mine, will vote on an improved company proposal regarding a disputed bonus over the next week, a union leader told Reuters on Wednesday.
If they reject the offer, the union says it could stage another strike at the deposit that produced around 1.1 million tonnes of copper last year.
The miners kicked off a surprise 24-hour stoppage at the BHP Billiton controlled mine earlier this month.
"The company has presented a bonus offer and a new way of calculating the bonus," said Roberto Arriagada, one of the leaders of the roughly 2,500-worker strong union, adding the new proposal was an "improvement."
Voting is expected to wrap up on Friday Sept. 6, he said.
"Everything is possible," Arriagada said when asked about potential labor action should the deal be turned down by workers. "We're not excluding anything."
BHP and Rio Tinto, which owns 30 percent of Escondida, could not immediately be reached for comment. Both global miners have previously declined to comment on labor unrest at the deposit, located in Chile's arid north.