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28 November 2016

Chile: Hochtief dismiss 320 workers in Alto Maipo

After more than 10 days on strike, the dispute for better working conditions continues in Chile. The large multinational company Hochtief still maintains its anti-union practices at the mega Hydroelectric Project Alto Maipo, in San José de Maipo, Chile.

According to leaders of SINTEC/FETRACOMA and the local media, the official strike began on November 4th, and until today, the local Hochtief administration has refused to find a common solution to the demands of the workers.

On the other hand, Hochtief has sharpened its anti-union practices in detriment of workers. In particular, Hochtief dismissed 320 construction workers who were on strike. Similarly, the company has engaged inhumane measures against workers by cutting off electricity services, food supplies, drinking water, blocking all ways of communication and by hiring security personnel with the purpose of harassing workers. These acts join with the ones developed since August 2016, in which workers were intimidated in order to prohibit their affiliation to the local union SINTEC, obstruction of collective bargaining processes, destitution of trade union leaders, among other practices already analyzed by the Chilean Labor Inspection authorities.

These practices are totally contrary to the guidelines and good practice commitments that are part of ILO Conventions mentioned in the International Framework Agreement (IFA), called Social Charter, signed between Hochtief, IGBAU and BWI in Berlin, on March 15th, 2000. That is why; those anti-union measures are completely unacceptable and must be stopped immediately.

In this regard, in support of its affiliated organization: FETRACOMA, BWI DEMANDS the end of this conflict through the recognition of the local union SINTEC, the re-employment of all workers dismissed during the conflict and the immediate beginning of a negotiation in good faith, whose main objective will be the searching for a common and sustainable solution.