Demands from the Workers of Chile

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1931 ... November 13, 2019

Demands from the Workers of Chile

Trade Union Block of Social Unit

The uprisings that continue in Chile began as a student protest against a proposed fare increase for public transport. It quickly evolved into a general wave of protest against the government of Sebastián Piñera and all the mounting grievances of neoliberalism -- horrible working conditions, social inequalities, privatizations, a negligible welfare state, and more. The government declared a state of emergency and curfew, deployed the military and unleashed a wave of fierce violence against the protests, killing many and detaining thousands. The Chilean national trade union movement, Central Unitaria de Trabajadores de Chile (CUT-Chile), has been part of broad fronts of groups aligned against the government. Its so-called Union Bloc has produced the following set of demands.

Chile faces the deepest social and political crisis since the return to democracy. All who celebrated the end of the Dictatorship in the streets, celebrated not only the exit of the dictator, but the hope of moving toward a full democracy with more rights and social justice.... However, after more than 30 years of waiting for this process, they have ended up transforming hope into rage, with the obvious distance that has gone generating between the so-called ‘citizenship’ and the ‘politicians’, with electoral processes less and less participatory and with massive mobilizations that have not implied changes in the lives of Chileans.

The demonstrations lived in 2006 (Penguin Revolution) and 2011 for the right to education, managed to mobilize millions; mobilizations that were replicated, years later, in the massive marches for the end of the AFPs (Administradoras de Fondos de Pensiones). However, today we continue to fight to ensure the right to free and quality education, and is being discussed in Parliament a bill that, instead of ending the current pension system, deepens and strengthens it. In addition to this is discontent in the face of abuse, corruption and inequalities, not only of income, but also of privileges and of treatment millions of workers live every day.

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