Copper Guild meets with Chilean Government amid strike | News

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Leaders and workers of the Chilean metallurgical union meet this Thursday with the state copper company Codelco and the country’s government after going on a national strike in order to denounce the gradual closure of the Ventanas Smelter, for years marked by acts of contamination environment in the commune of Puchuncaví, in Valparaíso.

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The president of the Federation of Copper Workers (FTC), Amador Pantoja, indicated that “a negotiation process will begin. We have agreed to meet with Codelco.”

Two meetings are planned, the first of them at 09:00 local time, with Codelco, and the second at 15:00 local time, in the Chilean capital, Santiago, with government delegates.

Pantoja pointed out that government authorities would be present at the meetings, such as the Minister of Mining, Marcela Hernando, and representatives of the Ventanas factory would participate, “who are the ones who know the most about what is happening,” he said.

The FTC agreed to hold the meeting after several detained leaders were released by the Carabineros, which is why they had not previously agreed.

At the same time, the president of the FTC stated that the negotiations will not end with this meeting but that there is still “a great battle in Parliament, where we are going to play so that the law is not modified.”

A few days ago, the Chilean government announced that the company would gradually close over a five-year period due to increasingly high levels of pollution and growing economic losses.

Plant workers and experts estimate that each day of work stoppage costs 20 million dollars.

Although the Executive reported this Wednesday that the work is not paralyzed, the workers ratified this Thursday that they are completely stopped and denounced that the Codelco administration is intimidating them to weaken the protest.

Pantoja told a local media outlet that the Ventanas Smelter invoiced a total of 7,500 million dollars in profits in 2021, and stressed that the Government can solve the pollution problems if it invests 54 million dollars there.

However, environmental organizations have supported the closure of what they consider to be “the main source of pollution, environmental damage and violation of the human right to life of the inhabitants of (the communes) Puchuncaví and Quintero, to live in a healthy environment. and sure”.

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