CHILE: Miners continue strike


On August 20, miners on strike at the Escondida copper mine rejected BHP Billiton's latest pay rise offer, which fell way short of the strikers' demands. The miners have been on strike since August 7 over pay, bonuses and working conditions. The company has refused to compromise despite the union lowering its demand for a pay rise from 10% to 8%. Union president Luis Troncoso told media that legal action would be taken against BHP Billiton for its anti-union practices. On August 21 a notice on the Escondida website offered individual contracts to the strikers but the union says members will not give in. Escondia produces 8% of world copper output and BHP Billiton is reportedly considering bringing Peruvian workers to the mine to restart production.