Strike to Hit Chilean Ports

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 20, 2015

Image: San Antonio Port, Chile

Image: San Antonio Port, Chile

 The main dockworkers union in Chile has voted for indefinite strike action at the country’s national ports.

A key labor reform act is due to be voted on in Congress sometime over the next few days. In addition, the union is also urging the government to push through better educational reforms.
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.
Chilean port workers are demanding modifications to the newly proposed labor legislation including clarification on a clause that would allow the termination of striking workers whom pose an alleged threat to damaging infrastructure, the environment, or health services.
According to the UPCH, San Antonio, Talcahuano, San Vicente, Coronel and Lirquen will see an ‘indefinite’ strike from 8.00am local time on Thursday, while the strike at Antofagasta should only affect three shifts.
The ports of Valparaiso, Arica and Angamos will continue operating normally, while the port of Iquique is already experiencing a strike for other reasons.
Fruit Exporters Association of Chile AG (Asoex) called on its members to take all possible safeguards to minimize the impact of the labour action.
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