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Workers at Candelaria copper mine in Chile 'divided' over contract sweetener -union chief

SANTIAGO, Nov 16 (Reuters) - A vote on a new contract for workers at Candelaria copper mine in Chile, operated by Lundin Mining Corp, will be fiercely contested amid ongoing divisions about whether to continue a four-week-long strike, a union chief said on Monday.

At the end of last week, the company submitted an improved proposal to the Candelaria union, whose members began the legal walkout on Oct. 20, prompting the company to suspend operations.

Evelyn Walter, president of the union, said one group of members were happy with the offer of $22,800 per worker for allocations and payments for the closing of negotiations, but another group wanted to push for concessions in other key aspects of the contract.

“This vote is divided,” he told Reuters. “They modified some bonuses and things like that, but it’s the lack of adjustment to the base salary that people are focusing on most.”

The vote, which takes place on Tuesday, comes after Candelaria’s Mine Union, on strike since Oct. 8, rejected an offer at the beginning of the month and maintained their own strike.

Candelaria produced 111,400 tons of copper in 2019. (Reporting by Fabian Cambero; writing by Aislinn Laing; editing by Chris Reese)

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