Chile: Young people fight against new precarious work law

14 August 2018 17:41

Ángelo Ayala, young union leader of FETRACOMA giving an interview to a national television channel.

On the 9th of August, around 700 people gathered in Santiago, Chile to protest the "Labour Statute for Young Students" – a new annex to the labour law which limits the rights of young workers between 18 and 24 years old.

Workers of the National Federation of Workers in Construction, Wood, Services and Allied Sectors (FETRACOMA) along with its union SINTEC, established to improve the conditions of precarious workers, took part in the great march against the initiative.

"Young strikers were repressed by a large contingent of Special Forces, but FETRACOMA will continue to fight for fair and real working conditions for young people in Chile", said Jorge Hernández, President of FETRACOMA as well as the BWI Ad Hoc Youth Group for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The initiative was designed to encourage the employment of young students, but the International Labour Organization (ILO) has warned about the non-payment of overtime and instability that the law creates. The initiative will not only lower reduce earnings, but also the limit the possibility of receiving a decent pension due to non-contribution to the social security system. It ignores the need for employment stability and excludes workers from social benefits. There is also a danger that student employment in these conditions could replace permanent jobs.

Young students and trade unionists on demonstration.