UPDATE 1-Barrick Chile mine workers set to strike

Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:27pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

* Workers poised to strike after rejecting contract proposal

* News of likely stoppage comes day before Barrick results due

SANTIAGO Oct 30 (Reuters) - The majority of Chilean union workers at Barrick Gold Corp's suspended Pascua-Lama gold mine have voted to strike, which they say could delay the reactivation of the controversial project, according to a union statement on Wednesday.

Both the country's Supreme Court and environmental regulator SMA have halted the complex, which straddles the Chilean and Argentine border, until new infrastructure is built to prevent the mine from polluting nearby water supplies.

Roughly 60 percent of the 300-worker union involved in the construction of the infrastructure has voted in favor of the labor stoppage after rejecting the miner's contract proposal on grounds its benefits were insufficient, the union said.

The last round of voting will wrap up on Wednesday night. A potential strike would materialize between this Friday and next Friday.

The union said that Toronto-based Barrick has "pressured union workers to ... train contract workers, who would replace them during a potential strike, threatening workers with retaliation if they refuse to provide the training."

"However, up to now union workers have refused to train the contract workers," the union added. The union also says Barrick has treated them unfairly and it denounces a recent wave of lay-offs.

Chilean law states that companies can, under certain circumstances, hire replacement workers to fill the gap left by strikers.   Continued...