Chileans struggling with the financial impacts of Covid-19 are holding mass protests aimed at pushing President Sebastian Pinera to allow them to access funds from their privately held pensions for a third time during the pandemic. Dockworkers have joined the protests at 25 port terminals, including San Antonio, Valparaiso, and Antofagasta.
Last week, the Chilean Congress approved a motion to allow people to make a third drawdown of 10% from their pensions; senators had already approved the move. President Pinera, however, is opposed to the idea, saying it would increase hardship in the future, leaving many without savings for retirement. Chile’s central bank has also said that a third withdrawal risks generating “a significant increase in the Chilean economy’s risk profile.” The government has appealed to the country’s constitutional court to block the move.
GardaWorld issued an alert on Monday to notify of a national dockworkers’ strike starting that day. The alert indicated the strike would “last for at least five consecutive shifts,” but other sources say the strike will run until April 30.