Chile: National Strike a Success Despite Repression

With tens of thousands of Chilean workers joining the two-day national strike called by the ITUC-affiliated CUT trade union centre, pressure is mounting on the government of President Piñera to respond to the widely-supported demands for a major change in direction.

The international trade union movement strongly condemns the violence and repression that accompanied the strike. The authorities have attacked peaceful demonstrators with rubber bullets and water cannons. “In a real democracy, people have a legitimate right to demonstrate and demand change. There is no place for violence, and the authorities’ repression aimed at stopping the strike and demonstrations is totally unacceptable,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow, from Santiago.

The ITUC and TUCA, its regional organisation for the Americas, will continue to support the Chilean trade union movement, whose alliance with students and other civil society groups aims to ensure that all Chileans have access to quality education, that the country’s labour laws meet ILO standards, and that there are budgetary and political reforms.

Trade union centres from many other countries, in the Americas and in other regions are still sending messages of support and solidarity to their Chilean colleagues. Further information may be found on the CUT website