06:41 GMT +322 November 2019
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    An aerial view shows demonstrators gathering during a protest against Chile's state economic model in Santiago, Chile October 25, 2019.

    Chile’s Copper Miners Plan Major Strike to Support Nationwide Demonstrations

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Workers at Chile’s Escondida copper mine are planning a strike on Tuesday, calling on the government to meet the demands of the people, who have been protesting over the past few weeks, the workers’ union announced.

    "We reiterate the call for the Government and Congress, with the active participation of the trade union … to initiate legislation and fundamental changes that really take care of the needs of the great national majority", Union 1 of Escondida Mine Workers said in a Monday statement.

    According to the release, the 24-hour strike will begin on Tuesday. It was agreed upon by all members of the union, who make up around 90 percent of all the workers at the Escondida mine, which is the highest producing copper mine in the world.

    The statement says that the strike is meant to support the nationwide protests in Chile against the "economic and social policies that affect us as workers and the vast majority of the society in general".

    On Monday, major demonstrations took place in Chile’s capital, Santiago. Fires were reported at some locations and one hotel had to be evacuated.

    The Monday protests were staged despite Chilean President Sebastian Pinera replacing key ministers, including the interior and finance ministers earlier in the day.

    Last week, employees from Chile’s state-owned copper mining giant Codelco joined the national demonstrations in the country.

    A state of emergency, which ended on Sanday, was announced by Pinera on 18 October, when protests turned violent, with demonstrators setting fire to subway stations and buses.

    Chile has been mired in protests since 6 October, when the authorities increased subway fares. What started as peaceful public demonstrations have turned into wider discontent with social policies and clashes with law enforcement agencies. At least 19 people have been killed as a result of the unrest.


    copper mining, fare increase, police, mass protests, Chile
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