Church mediates agreement ending strike by copper workers in Chile


During talks mediated by the Catholic Church in Chile,  officials of the state-run Corporation of Copper and union leaders of the Confederation of Copper Workers established an agreement to put an end to the strike that has paralyzed the industry for more than a month.

In a statement entitled, “A good sign for Chile,” Archbishop Alejandro Goic of Rancagua, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Chile, expressed gratitude to both sides for their trust in the Church, and he called on workers to return to their jobs as soon as possible and on the companies to promote dialogue with their employees.

The strike by copper workers lasted 37 days and has resulted in losses totaling $40 million, according to company figures.

“While it does not completely satisfy the original demands of the workers, the terms of the agreement signify a step forward, which has been achieved thanks to the good will of both parties, whose attitudes we thank and appreciate,” the statement announcing the agreement indicated.

Archbishop Goic called on business leaders and workers to “re-establish the trust necessary for keeping the channels of permanent dialogue open that guarantee the fulfillment of the proposed agreement and the collaboration of all for the good of the company, its workers and their families.”

The archbishop noted that the conflict has forced Chileans to confront issues that must be dealt with and has shown that the Church will continue working for the common good of society.

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