Dockyard workers at the port of San Antonio in Chile have been on strike over the introduction of a new labour law, involving worker registration.
SAN ANTONIO, CHILE (VISNEWS - RAUL CUEVAS)
SV Harbour PULL OUT TO GV
GV PAN Men, women and children outside union building by dockyard
SV Sign on front of building
GV PAN ACROSS Men, woman and children waiting outside building
SV PULL OUT TO GV Women preparing vegetables (2 shots)
GV Man preparing food in cauldron and CU (2 shots)
SV INTERIOR Children eating (4 shots)
SV EXTERIOR Children eating outside (2 shots)
GV Men, women and children eating outside
Background: Dockyard workers at the port of San Antonio in Chile have been on strike over the introduction of a new labour law, involving worker registration. The stoppage has been going on since the 25th of September and in an attempt to feed their families as money runs short, the strikers have set up a communal kitchen.
SYNOPSIS: The strike-bound San Antonio dockyard lies 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of the capital Santiago.
There have also been stoppages at local factories and in the fishing industry around this busy port, putting thousands of people out of work and leaving many families hungry.
To try to solve this problem the dockyard union has set up a communal kitchen which in one week alone provided food for more than then thousand men, women, children and babies.
The wives of the strikers gathered together to help prepare the meals -- simple vegetable stews and the traditional Chilean dish of frejoles, red kidney beans. The men have also helped with the cooking, taking turns to light the fires and to stir the giant pots needed to provide the food for the thousands of hungry mouths waiting eagerly for their next meal.
At the moment the children are not going hungry although money is short. But the strike looks like being a long and bitter one. The dockyard workers are protesting because the new labour law introduced last month seeks to end the special register of labourers entitled to work in the dockyards. The government says this will break the union's monopoly in the dockyards and will give employment to people all over the country. But the dockers say it threatens their livelihoods.
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