Paper: Codelco suppliers refuse to pay bonuses

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Some suppliers of Chilean state-owned copper company Codelco are refusing to advance bonus payments to workers as agreed upon by the government and outsourcer representatives, according to newspaper El Mercurio.

Protests by outsourced workers that affected Codelco's operations starting April 16 subsided this week following an agreement between the interior and labor ministers, and independent labor union CUT that employers would pay an advance on a previously agreed year-end bonus.

But some of Codelco's suppliers, which did not have any representatives present during the government discussions, say they have not agreed to pay the advance to their workers and will not do so, according to the paper.

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Codelco's rules for working with suppliers in 2008 stipulate that providers must give a 500,000-peso bonus (roughly US$1,000) to each of their employees by the end of this year. The advance would amount to 300,000 pesos.

The union representing Codelco's outsourcers, the CTC, also did not participate in the signing of the bonus advance agreement.

Meanwhile, all of Codelco's divisions were working normally this week with both subcontracted and directly hired workers attending shifts.