United States dockers working in Chile are adamant that they will go ahead with their threatened strike.
United States dockers working in Chile are adamant that they will go ahead with their threatened strike. But many Chileans have publicly opposed the strike plan.
SYNOPSIS: On Thursday (14 December) an estimated 40 thousand people demonstrated in valparaiso against the threatened strike. The industrial action stems from a recent decision by the American Federation of Labour - Congress of Industrial Organisations, the AFL-CIO, to boycott Chilean exports on the grounds of human rights violations.
President Pinochet was to have addressed the rally which had been officially organised. However, Government business kept him in Santiago. It was President Pinochet who made the threatened strike a national issue. He saw it in terms of international aggression. Should the strike come into effect, Chile plans to try to circumvent it by exporting its goods to countries not affected by the ban. The goods would then be re-shipped. It's been reported that if the strike goes ahead it could cost the country some two hundred and fifty million dollars (one hundred and twenty-five million pounds). The Maritime Federation leader, Arturo Mayorga spoke to the crowd.
The port of Valparaiso would be hardest hit. It's the port from which most of the country's primary products are exported.