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Chile port workers end strikes halting exports

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April 6, 2013 01:05 PM EST | AP


SANTIAGO, Chile — Chilean port workers are returning to work after reaching a deal to end three weeks of strikes that blocked exports of copper, fruit and wood pulp.

The stoppage in the world's No.1 copper producing nation began in the northern port of Angamos when workers demanded a 30-minute lunch break. Dockers in 10 other ports joined in solidarity.

The Ultraport company managing the Angamos port agreed late Friday to compensate workers with a bonus following negotiations mediated by Chile's work minister.

The strike caused worries because Chile produces a third of the world's copper and its stable economy is built around exports of minerals.

Chile is also a major global exporter of wine, salmon and fruit.