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BHP mine makes last offer to Chilean union

The world's largest copper mine, BHP's Escondida in Chile, says it has made a final salary offer in talks with the union representing its rank-and-file workers that includes a beefed up contract signing bonus and a 1.5 per cent increase in wages.

The Anglo-Australian miner id on Tuesday offered a final signing bonus of $US27,700, compared to its previous offer of $US23,000.

The 1.5 per cent salary increase compared to a previous offer of a flat salary with increases only for inflation.

The union had requested a five per cent salary increase and a bonus of up to $US40,000 per worker.

The closely watched talks come little more than one year after failure to reach a labour deal at the mine led to a 44-day strike that jolted the global copper market.

"We don't want to go to strike and we're sure the great majority of workers don't want to either," said Patricio Vilaplana, vice-president of corporate affairs for Escondida.

"For that reason we took this decision, which maintains existing benefits, is sustainable for the company and, above all, maintains a contract that is the best collective contract in Chilean private mining."

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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