Due to the COVID-19 health emergency, BHP has reduced the presence of its own and contractor workers in its operations. The company has limited the number of employees in its operations from 7,310 to 4,910 and contractor workers in its operations from 21,911 to 11,289. Faced with this situation, the company made the decision to voluntarily undertake a significant part of the contractor companies’ cost to maintain the remuneration of their demobilized workers and their respective jobs.
On March 23 last, BHP announced initial assistance along with the decision to limit the entry of contractor workers to its operations. Now, to continue with this support, BHP has classified its collaborating companies according to criteria such as relevance of the local and regional job source, company size and financial situation.
For smaller and medium-sized companies, with a more fragile financial situation and whose local or regional workforce is important, BHP will continue to voluntarily pay 70% or 90% - as the case may be - of the fixed remuneration and social security contributions associated to the scope of the works contained in the contracts, until June 30, 2020, to the extent that operational continuity in the site or respective area is maintained.
This contribution could amount to US$ 25 million, which includes the US$ 8 million of the initial aid implemented between March 23 and April 13.
“These measures constitute a powerful tool to contribute to the well-being of our economy and local and regional communities. Our objective is to protect people's health and maintain operational continuity, because we have a responsibility to the country where we operate, to the Antofagasta and Tarapacá regions and to the workers and their families," stated Pedro Correa, Vice President of Supply for BHP Minerals Americas.
BHP's effort to help its contractors is aligned with its Social Value strategy and joins the “Vamos Juntos” plan, which, together with the Faculty of Medicine of Universidad Católica, will increase the virus detection capacity and strengthen the Family Health Centres (CESFAMs) of the South-East Area of the Metropolitan Region, and of the Antofagasta and Tarapacá regions. “Vamos Juntos” also considers BHP's help to the communities where it operates and to vulnerable risk groups in the Antofagasta and Tarapacá regions in matters of basic supplies, hygiene and sanitizing. This health aid plan contemplates an investment of US$ 8 million.