Chilean police arrest key port strike figure

January 21 , 2014

UPDATE (Jan. 28): Port workers have decided to strike again, alleging their employers have not upheld their end of the agreement.

UPDATE: Chile's port companies, workers and the government have reached a deal to bring strikes to a close. Click here for more details.

Special forces from the Chilean police have arrested eight workers involved in the debilitating strikes in San Antonio, including Port Workers Front (FTP) spokesperson Sergio Vargas, website reported. SAn Antonio from above

The workers were detained in the port's Espigón sector today while preparing a communal meal, arrested for what appear to be public order offences.

FTP leader Julio Castillo told the publication the arrest was violent and unjustified.

Click here for more stories on Chile's strike situation.

The website also reported there was a "giant fire" last night in Ultramar facilities at the port, which was extinguished by firefighters.

The strikes are putting the country's fruit sector at risk while leading to disquiet among foreign importers and retailers, however seafreight fruit can still be exported from the central port of Valparaiso or Coquimbo in the north.

In an attempt to resolve the issue, representatives of the Chilean Fruit Growers Federation (Fedefruta) and the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) held a meeting yesterday with Vargas and his colleagues in San Antonio, along with other members of the country's fruit industry round table (Mesa Frutícola).

Different parties were able to engage in dialogue about their respective positions, and Fedefruta president Cristián Allendes has been in contact with representatives from port operating companies in order to encourage a change in negotiations with workers, which to date have been deadlocked.




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  1. Justin says:

    This is unacceptable, the strike at the end of 12/13 season plus this strike at the beginning of season 13/14 makes Chile more unreliable than any supplier´s country by far. In the agriculture we have many negative and unmanageable factors that is no worth to mention, so this CAN´T be an issue. I hope that the world appologies Chile for this amateur managment of the problems. We need a goverment that can HIT THE TABLE and put the things in order, Mayol has been a clown since last march (with all the respect, maybe he hasn´t been encouraged by the goverment), the labour minister is a big incompetent and unqualified person, the President and all the ministers are worried about a veredict in "La Haya" that of course will be salomonic and he don´t even put attention on the fact that a small amount of 20 containers of cherries or blueberries has USD 4 million dollars in fruit. I hope that one day Chile will have an strict goverment that secure the integrity of the workers and the people who INVEST and MANAGE the companies where the people works; and defend those duties no matter what. I don´t want to enter in the fact that the Port workers in all over the world are a mafia and what I would do against the mafia, well that is another fight.