Asarco workers, Sterlite sign agreement

July 10th, 2008 - 9:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Albuquerque (US)/Mumbai, July 10 (IANS) The Anil Agarwal-promoted Sterlite Industries Ltd, which in May announced it would buy the operating assets of American copper miner-refiner Asarco LLC for $2.6 billion in an all-cash deal, has reached an agreement with the US company’s labour union on workers’ benefits and fresh investments, a joint statement Thursday said. Under the pact, all existing workers’ benefits have been retained, and on its expiry in 2010, will be extended by three more years.

The new collective bargaining agreement also contains terms designed to ensure that Asarco’s operations will be improved and made more competitive through fresh investments by Sterlite in all existing operations.

The agreement will come into effect once the proposed acquisition is approved by the bankruptcy court.

Sterlite is a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources plc, the London-based FTSE 100 metal and mining group.

“We look forward to working with the unions and Asarco’s highly-skilled employees,” Sterlite chairman Agarwal said in the statement.

“Sterlite is also pleased that it has been granted bid protections by the bankruptcy judge, which represents another important milestone in the acquisition process,” he added.

Terry Bonds, chairman of the Asarco Union Negotiating Committee, said Sterlite, with its strong experience in the copper business, will strengthen Asarco’s operations for all stakeholders, including employees.

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