San Francisco: The main dockworkers union in Chile started industrial action on Friday after Thursday’s vote for indefinite strike action at the country’s national ports.
Members of the Port Workers Union of Chile (UPCH) took the step to industrial action in protest at a lack of progress in labour reform talks and to prod the government to do the right thing when a labour rights vote is taken in the Valparaiso congress in a few days
The union says that amendments to existing labour law have not gone far enough. UPCH also included demands for better educational reforms.
At the country’s main port of San Antonio (from where a large proportion of fruit exports depart) workers stopped for six hours. In Valparaíso demonstrators erected barricades at the southern access point to the port and occupied terminal 2.
Workers also stopped operations at Puerto Ventanas, in Quintero region, which moves coal and copper concentrate, and at San Vicente, in Bío Bío, which was paralysed for 24 hours by about 1,000 workers.
Fruit Exporters Association of Chile AG (Asoex) called on its members to take all possible safeguards to minimise the impact of the labour action.