Chile: Visit of BWI to unions and employers of the construction and forestry industries

 

According to the objectives stated in the agenda: visits to workplace in order to talk to union organizations in their headquarters, participate in meetings with employers and managers, analyze collective negotiation in Chile, and have a first-hand understanding of how daily union life in this country is in construction, construction materials and forestry sectors; the Brazilian Nilton Freitas, BWI Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Chilean Luis Salazar, BWI Project Coordinator in Chile, visited the cities of Santiago, Concepcion and Cabrero.

The visit was held from May 28th to June 3rd and included workshops with leaders and workers of FETRACOMA of construction sector; FETRACEM and ROMERAL of construction materials sector, CTF and the Federation of Union Workers of MASISA, FETRAMAS (MASISA Mapal´s workers´ union) of forestry sector. These initial meetings with BWI organizations, was the perfect opportunity to share national work and the projection of union action, as well as the participation in tripartite spaces for wood and forestry industry unions.

One of the topics discussed was the change in work-law policies, implemented since April 1st, 2017 in Chile, which will represents problems to workers regarding to union affiliation and collective negotiation, since a major weakening in union organizations is foreseen.

This visit also included interviews with corporative leaders of the multinational companies HOCHTIEF and STRABAG, which are building important projects of infrastructure in the country; know their policies of industrial relationships, their labor health plan and the participation of unions in employee’s protection. Furthermore, topics of social care, work stability and disable workers inclusion were also discussed.

During meetings with unions in Chile, Freitas shared the BWI regional work, expressing his concern on the constant need of support to affiliated organizations in difficult circumstances in many places of the world. He also expressed his constant support to workers and member organizations issues worldwide.

The intense agenda also included a visit to Alto Maipo complex, a mega project of 67 kilometers tunnel at with an average depth of 800 meters between the Rio Volcán and Las Lajas area, which once finished, will supply potable water to the city of Santiago. The implementation of this project has been full of attention due to labor conflicts and rejection from some environmental organizations.

In the photo: BWI Regional Representative along with different union leaders from the Federation of Union workers of MASSIA (FETRAMAS).