Leading lithium producer Albemarle and union in Chile reach agreement, ending strike, Auto News, ET Auto

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Throughout the strike, Albemarle maintained that the extended withdrawal had not affected its production of lithium from Chile.

SANTIAGO:

Albemarle Corp, the world’s largest lithium producer, said on Wednesday it had reached a labor contract deal with a union at its Atacama saline plant, ending a month-long strike that had escalated tensions between workers and the business.

The 135-member “Albemarle Salar” union, which includes about half the workers at its key Salar production plant, went on strike in August after failing to reach a deal with the lithium-based miner. in the USA.

The company said in a statement that it had signed a new 36-month contract with the union and the workers would return to work immediately. “Operations at the Salar plant are now returning to normal, with particular emphasis on worker safety as production returns to pre-strike levels,” the company said.

Throughout the strike, Albemarle maintained that the extended withdrawal had not affected its production of lithium from Chile.

The company said on Wednesday that the strike had led to a reduction in the pumping of lithium-rich brine at its Salar plant, where the walkout took place, but that union action had no impact on production. overall of its chemical plant in La Negra. , where the brines are transformed into battery-grade lithium carbonate.

Union representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the deal. Atacama’s operations in Albemarle, Chile are a vital source of ultralight white metal used in batteries that power electric vehicles. Competitor SQM operates nearby.

Albemarle, who struck labor deals with his three remaining Chilean guilds earlier this year, said the deal with his workers’ union Salar ended this year’s negotiations.

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