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News > Chile

Chile: Nationwide Strike Brings Teachers, Mine-Workers Together

  • Protesters holding a banner that reads 'As long as teachers stand up, the people will not be on their knees' in Osorno, Chile, June 20, 2019.

    Protesters holding a banner that reads 'As long as teachers stand up, the people will not be on their knees' in Osorno, Chile, June 20, 2019. | Photo: Twitter / @MarcelaMatriv30

Published 20 June 2019

President Piñera's administration has remained indifferent to the demands of the Chilean population.

The Workers Unitary Central (CUT), the National Association of Fiscal Employees (ANEF) and the Student Confederation of Chile (Confech) are all on strike Thursday against President Sebastian Piñera's right-wing government, demanding better pay, more funding and a state-based pension system.

In Valparaiso, marchers are set to make their way to the National Congress headquarters.

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"Teachers, students and workers, we must show our strength in forceful marches on Thursday," said community leader, Maria Isabel Martinez, who added that teachers support the Chuquicamata miners' strike.

The Chilean teachers, who have been on strike for three weeks say they want Piñera to respond to their requests they made two years ago. Among these are back wage payments and more resources for public education.

In Santiago, Chile's capitla, citizens will march towards the Alameda, the city's main avenue, and then to La Moneda Presidential Palace. Teachers plan to present their demands there. University students will hold demonstrations across the city to protest the police repression they have experienced since starting protests a year ago demanding safer campuses, gender-inclusive curriculum, and the erasure of crippling student loans. The Coordinating Assembly of Secondary Students (ACES) will also join in the strike.

Multidinary march of Chilean teachers is going to Valparaiso to back their just demands and move towards a national strike for a new public education. Enough, No More Abuse, National Strike.

"The whole country is moving in support of teachers," ACES spokesperson, Victor Chanfreau, told local press, explaining that Piñera's government has no valid justifications to continue rejecting the teachers' demands.

Between March 30 and April 11, thousands of workers, teachers and students also marched to demand the end of the Chilean pension model, installed during the Pinochet dictatorship more than 30 years ago, it relies on private banks to manage workers' savings for their retirement.

In Chuquicamata, home to the world's largest open copper mine, the workers of Codelco, the Chilean state-owned mining company that produces almost 11 percent of the globe's copper stock, are demanding better salaries and health services. This, on the eve of a new phase of underground exploitation.

The company has taken measures to repress striking miners in Chuquicamata where workers have been placed under strong police survaillance, says Prensa Obrera.

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