Chilean port workers staged strikes on Thursday across the country’s ports as a sign of opposition to a labor reform approved by the lower chamber of the Chile’s congress.
The Ports Union (Unión Portuaria) called on an indefinite strike as a sign of discontent over the government’s failure to solve labour reform issues and lack of progress in related negotiations.
“They have made all the amendments [to the present law] that they wanted to and believe the new legislation is a great panacea, but it is not. And this is not something that affects just port workers but all workers,” the union leader Julio Castillo said.
However, the industrial action that hit the country’s ports of San Antonio, Valparaíso, Puerto Ventanas and San Vicente did not exceed 24 hours.
The striking workers are seeking more clarity with respect to a clause that would allow the termination of striking workers who pose an alleged threat to damaging infrastructure, the environment, or health services.
On the other hand, the government said that the reform would expand the unions’ powers and prohibit firing of striking workers.
The bill is pending approval by the country’s senate.
The country’s port workers have resorted to industrial action several times this year as they demand better working conditions.
World Maritime News Staff; Image: UP