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Iquique, Chile, port strike

From the ITF
26 August 1999

Dockers in the Chilean port of Iquique agreed with shipping companies and the government yesterday (25 August) to suspend their strike for seven days, in the hope that during that period a final agreement on salary adjustments can be reached.

The workers have been on strike for several weeks, following proposals by the shipping companies to slash wages and employ casual workers.

The decision to suspend industrial action was taken after some of the small and medium-sized shipping agents agreed to increase the pay for an eight hour shift from 13,000 pesos to 15,000 pesos. On average the dockers work 20 shifts per month.

Those shipping agents which have not yet accepted the workers' pay demands will begin negotiations today in meetings to be headed by government minister, Jose Miguel Insulza.

The port workers suspended their stoppages in order to allow vital foodstuffs to be delivered to the city, which has gone for 34 days without flour and other provisions.

If the negotiations do not result in an agreement within seven days, the dockers plan to resume their strike on Thursday 2 September.

The ITF has urged all its affiliates to remain on standby in case solidarity action is called for.

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