The Escondida mining company, the world’s largest copper deposit, offered a voluntary retirement plan for workers amid the advancement of the COVID-19 pandemic, which the union criticized as a measure to get rid of workers who cannot work for risks of virus infection.
The BHP-controlled reservoir
«The health crisis has spread over time, with no certainty of a date of completion,» the company said in a statement sent to Reuters.
«In this context, and bearing in mind the legitimate concerns raised by some of our workers, the company has decided to offer, voluntarily and for a single time during the month of July 2020, voluntary plans for exceptional retirement,» he added.
However, the powerful decrement union said it would monitor the voluntary nature of the offer, as it stated that the firm would seek to dispose of workers currently demobilized from their posts due to health measures.
«The Company has announced the provision of exit plans, which are especially aimed at workers facing health or age situations, which currently prevent them from working in the face of risk conditions for the current pandemic,» the guild said in a statement.
Escondida, which associates BHP with Rio Tinto
Chile has more than 300,000 virus contagions and the government reports more than 6,500 deaths. Workers in the mining sector have had a low rate of 2% contagion.
On the eve, Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica said the government would prioritize workers’ health over mining production amid a surge in contagions in the sector. [nL1N2EE1EH]
In addition, the official had asked companies to do their best to avoid redundancies in the face of rising unemployment in the country.