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Message-ID: <199904070628.XAA01282@igce.igc.org>
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1999 23:02:47 -0700
Reply-To: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YorkU.CA>
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YorkU.CA>
From: earl gilman <giltapia@IGC.APC.ORG>
Subject: Chile Port Workers

Chile Port Workers

By Earl Gilman, El Nuevo Topo, Socorro Obrero Sindical
6 April 1999

Port workers in three ports in Chile last week protested the privitizations planned which will leave them without jobs or any compensation for loss of their jobs. Most of them are casuals without any single employer and have no collective bargaining contract or even an individual contract. (AIFLD in the last period of Pinocehts dictatorship destroyed the historic Longshoremens Union in Valaparaiso because it was too radical for them. by supporting separate unions at each dock.)

The employers claimed the strike cost them $1 million a day -- this is the fruit export season and much of the fruit spoiled. The workers occupied two ships and set up barricades ten blocks around the port of Valparaiso. Our correspondent who was there, writes "he hasn't seen anything like this since 1986." The bourgeois press claims there were incendiary bombs and stoning. Negotiations began on 4/5. Our correspondent writes: "They want to lower the costs of goods we export, labor, taxes, and port costs.. According to the Chilean government, Chilean ports are some of the most expensive in the world because they are state owned and because of the high cost of labor." It should be noted that the current Christian Democrat Coalition government which includes so-called "Socialists", including the head of the Police, has gone even further than General Pinochet in carrying out privitizations and neoliberalism.

Earl Gilman
El Nuevo Topo magazine
Socorro Obrero Sindical

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