SANTIAGO, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Chilean miners on Thursday ended a strike that paralyzed operations at the world's largest copper mine for 43 days.
The miners accepted a deal "to extend the current collective contract for 18 months," the regional daily Cooperativa said, adding the decision was seen as "a victory" by the union despite a failure to secure a wage increase.
Union leader Patricio Tapia hailed the decision for strengthening the collective contract and for calling for a new round of negotiations starting "on June 1, 2018 under the norms of the labor reform," which will include both existing and new workers and be based on the current contract terms.
Tapia called the strike "the most important union struggle in recent decades."
The more than month-long strike led to losses of some 700 million U.S. dollars at La Escondida mine in the northern Antofagasta region.
Company president Marcelo Castillo described the strike as "damaging to both the workers and the company."
With copper being Chile's No. 1 export, the strike is expected to put a dent in monthly gross domestic product figures.
Miners are expected to be back at work on Saturday, the daily said.