Chilean port strike hits copper trade


Strike has affected northern and southern ports. Workers are protesting for stronger union organising rights

Several Chilean ports are still on strike, curbing metal and other shipments from the world's top copper producer, according to a Reuters report.

The conflict started in late December in the northern port of Angamos to protest for stronger union organising rights and the stoppage spread to other ports for what they say is police brutality against striking workers. 

Some workers have returned to work in Angamos but union members remain on strike and the northern ports of Antofagasta and Iquique, as well as the centrally-located port of San Antonio also remain on strike, according to the Labour Ministry. Unions at ports in the southern Bio-Bio region have also downed tools says Reuters.

The strike also affected Tocopilla, Huasco, Caldera and Chañaral.

Other key ports such as Valparaíso, Coquimbo and Arica are conducting business as usual.

It is reported that southern ports which initially went on strike to show their support for Angamos workers could be halted again if talks show no progress.

So far the protest has hurt copper, fruit and other exports in the region of US$400mn, an amount that is growing as the strike continues.

Seatrade Global reports that the strike at Angamos has particularly hurt the state mining copper company Codelco, which lost revenue of US$130mn as a result.

Chile's copper accounts for around a third of the world's supply and leaves from its northern and central ports on the Pacific Ocean around $37 billion of the metal exported in the January to November period, according to central bank and government data. 

Daily Email Newsletter

Sign up to our daily email newsletter to receive the latest news from Port Technology International.

Supplier Directory

Be listed with industry leaders operating within Ports and Terminals

Webinar Series

Join 500+ attendees on average with a Port Technology International webinar

Latest Stories

Cookie Policy. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.