Chilean port of San Antonio renews work stoppages

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Chilean port of San Antonio renews work stoppages

Workers at the Chilean port of San Antonio went on strike at 3 p.m. Friday, in a move to address ongoing labor conflicts that have disrupted the nation's export sector.ship

A driving factor in the work stoppage is the continued push for retroactive pay for half-hour lunch breaks, explained San Antonio Port Workers Front president Sergio Vargas in

Port general manager Aldo Signorelli called for an end to the strike and encouraged comprehensive negotiations.

"Being the largest port in Chile carries a huge responsibility for all who work here. Today we call for an end to these demonstrations and to move forward with conversations that go beyond the boundaries of San Antonio and in no case should be subject to measures that signify losses for the San Antonio community or our customers," Signorelli said in a press statement.

The Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) released strong criticism of the strike, calling for protection of the free right to transit.

"It is evident that the perishability of our products is being taken advantage of through acts of pressure to protect their interests," ASOEX president Ronald Bown said.

ASOEX highlighted port strikes that struck the sector just months ago, in addition to extensive frosts in September that shook the fruit industry.

"Undoubtedly, no sector of the national economy can survive and endure suffering the consequences of actions that have no responsibility, let alone when it becomes clear that the perishability of the product is used to commit acts of pressure aimed at protecting interests," ASOEX said.

The association called on the government to take all action necessary to protect the export sector.

"This situation once again emphasizes the need for definitive employment agreements with the national port sector in order to have the legal and social structure to allow progress in the national port sector," ASOEX said.



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