LatinNews Daily - 21 June 2022

In brief: Chile copper workers to strike

*Chile’s Federación de Trabajadores del Cobre (FTC) miners’ union has called a national strike at state-owned copper mining giant Codelco. The strike is in response to Codelco’s decision to close down its Ventanas smelter in Valparaíso region on environmental grounds, a move backed by Chile’s President Gabriel Boric. In a statement, the FTC said the strike aimed to reverse the decision to close the smelter and “obtain investment so that Chilean copper continues to be smelted and refined in Chile”. The decision to close the smelter was taken after local residents, including school children, had to be hospitalised after suffering headaches, fainting, and vomiting. The union has argued that new cases of intoxication were reported after Ventanas’ closure and has also said that for a cost of US$53m, Codelco could install gas-retaining capsules that would make the smelter compliant with current clear air regulations.

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