Chile: Workers resume activities at key port but may return to strike

October 22 , 2019

Workers at a key Chilean port resumed operations on Tuesday but may strike again on Wednesday.

Port workers at San Antonio partook in a nationwide strike at ports on Monday in solidarity with protesters.

They returned to their posts Tuesday, but a general strike across various sectors has been announced for Wednesday.

Many Chileans continue to protest against the government and high levels of inequality in one of South America's most prosperous nations. It is the country's worst unrest in three decades.

Ricardo Rodríguez, president of the Central Port Workers Union, told FreshFruitPortal.com: "[Union members] are in meetings to evaluate if they will join the strike on Oct. 23."

According to local media Portal Portuario, on Tuesday the San Antonio International Terminal received the ships Sally Maersk and Lica Maersk. However, the working day was cut short due to a military-imposed curfew of 6pm in the Valparaiso region.

Union representatives on Tuesday wrote a letter to the San Antonio Governor explaining their position on the protests. They also demanded that the government end the State of Exception, which grants it additional powers.

The port issues come just as Chile's summer fruit season gets underway, amid expectations of some large-volume crops.

The Chilean blueberry industry is forecasting a 4% rise in exports to 115,000 metric tons (MT) this season. Meanwhile, the cherry industry is expecting a 15% increase to 209,000MT.

 

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