Employees Of Chile's Codelco Giant Ending Strike After Meeting With Officials - Minister

MEXICO CITY (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 24th October, 2019) Employees of Chile's state-owned copper mining company Codelco have decided to end their strike after holding negotiations with the authorities, the protest-hit country's Mining Minister, Baldo Prokurica, said.

The employees of the world's largest copper producer joined the general strike, prompted by a hike in public transport costs, on Wednesday. Media reported that the company had shut down one of its mine and a copper smelting facilities amid the turmoil. However, on Wednesday, the employees' representatives met with Prokurica, among other officials, to discuss the situation.

"We appreciate the readiness of [Codelco workers] to return to their duties and maintain dialogue as part of a permanent working group," Prokurica wrote on Twitter after the meeting.

Though the company reportedly said it maintained the majority of its operations amid the strike, the action has still affected the copper market that saw dropping copper futures quotes on Wednesday.

Thousands of Chileans have taken to the streets over recent days, protesting against various social policies. Some protests have turned violent.

The authorities have declared a state of emergency and issued curfews in several cities. Still, the unrest continued, leading to the deaths of at least several people.

Residents of Santiago, which saw the largest rallies, told Sputnik that they protested against the lack of possibility to have good free education or healthcare, as well as against low salaries and increasing tariffs.

They also believe that measures to boost social security, announced by the authorities, are not enough to improve the situation.