Chilean Miners Might Not Get Paid While They’re Trapped Underground

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Photo: Martin Bernetti/AFP/GEtty Iamges

Compania Minera San Esteban Primera, the firm that ran the mine in Chile where 33 miners are currently trapped, claims it might have to declare bankruptcy, due to lack of income from the mine and the flurry of government investigations and civil suits it's currently facing. This raises the question of whether the men will be paid during the three to four months it will take to free them. The miners' families, many of whom are camped out in a tent city above the mine, are anxious about both their loved ones, and how they will survive if the paychecks stop. A local union asked the Chilean government to step in and assume payroll responsibilities during the ordeal. The government says it wants to help, really it does, but it "cannot legally, within the regulations, take over labor responsibilities such as paying salary or pension benefits." That makes sense. How would the government have the power to alter laws and regulations?

Chilean Miners Face Potential Pay Freeze [WSJ]