BHP Billiton Escondida's 250-300 workers will set up a new union and seek to conclude the deal with the company by June of this year.
The MEL Operations and Maintenance Alliance will meet from February 1 to February 9 to encourage employees to join and possibly formalize the union by the end of the month. Marcela Fonseca, head of the initiative, said: "We have discussed the expected negotiations with the company executives and the company is willing to negotiate." The two sides will consult again in June this year.
Escondida's union number 1, representing about 2,500 operators and maintenance workers, went on strike for 44 days in February and March 2017, but the wage negotiations with the company were at an impasse.