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News > Latin America

Chile: Students Protest 'McDonald's Law' Job Insecurity

  • Students protest against the Chilean government's

    Students protest against the Chilean government's "McDonald's Law." | Photo: EFE

Published 24 August 2018

Students Federation Secretary-General Javiera Lopez, with a clown's nose in her hand, told Sebastian Piñera that his government "is a joke."  

In Chile, hundreds of students protested, on Thursday, against the Youth Labor Statute, which the students are calling the "McDonald's Law" as they claim it creates insecurity for the youth workforce. The protest took place in downtown Santiago, Chile's capital.

Chilean Students Protest Profiteering in Universities

Student's were protesting against a law, directed by President Sebastian Piñera's government, currently being discussed in Congress to allegedly boost young people work, by regulating them. However, the opposition to the government claims that it is creating further precariousness of jobs.

The demonstration was marked by chants and banners from the students. One of those reads: "brace yourself to have your McPrecarity," which references the new law permitting cheap and precarious labor - akin to fast-food giant McDonald's - for companies. When the march reached the Alameda, one of the main roads in downtown Santiago, the students were met by the "Carabineros," (Chilean National Police).

The protests ended after clashes with the police, who used water-throwing and gas-throwing tanks to scatter the protesters, resulted in nine students being detained. Protests and oppositional activities have been happening for weeks, in Chile, against this law that the Piñera Government is promoting.

On Thursday morning, President Sebastian Piñera, who was attending an event in the University of Chile, was interrupted by Javiera Lopez, secretary-general of the Students Federation of Chile (FECH), during a speech. Lopez, with a clown's nose in her hand, said to Piñera that his government "is a joke."  

Piñera left the event but not before saying, "to foolish words, deaf ears."

The president of the FECH, Karla Toro, explained afterward, that the idea was to talk with the president but they were not allowed.  

"When we arrived we were not allowed to enter, we asked for the corresponding help and that was not allowed either. We had no choice but to demonstrate in the hall of honor, we did not want to do this, we wanted to talk to the president directly," she said.

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