Chile: 1 mining contractor dead after strike at world's top copper miner Codelco

IndustrialsAssociated Press

A mining contractor has been shot dead in Chile after clashing with police during protests by workers employed by service contractors at the state-run copper giant Codelco.

The Confederation of Copper Workers said Friday that Nelson Quichillao was gunned down by police at 2:00 a.m. near Codelco's El Salvador mine.

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Police say they used guns in response to "a heavy machinery attack" by protesters that put an officer's life in danger.

The stoppage began Tuesday with protesters demanding a benefits package similar to that offered to the company's direct employees.

Codelco says five of its mines have been partially affected, and has estimated the losses at $27 million per day.

The world's largest copper mining company says agreeing to the demands would cost about $1 billion in the long run.