Over 17,000 Workers at three companies owned by U.S. corporation Walmart (Lider, Express de Lider and SuperBodega aCuenta) had been on strike since July 10, and have now returned to work as of midnight Monday.
Walmart has around 400 outlets across the South American country and the strike had paralyzed one of Chile’s largest supermarket groups.
The dispute arose after Walmart announced layoffs as the shops moved to automate numerous functions. Workers demanded retrainings for those losing their jobs, and wage rises for those who would have to fill new functions working the machines.
On the first day of the strike, workers formed pickets outside stores. Jimena Gabiola, a cashier at one of the outlets spoke to teleSUR from the rally calling on customers to also boycott any Walmart products until the workers' demands had been met.
Initially, Walmart denounced the action and the "illegal blockades" carried out by workers protesting. However, as the strike dragged on, bosses were forced back to the negotiating table.
On Monday night, union leader Juan Moreno announced the end of the strike as workers had won a 5.1 percent wage hike, and an agreement from the company that they would support retraining programs for those being made redundant.
Walmart has been criticized in various countries for labor exploitation with U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders recently condemning the giant for paying "starvation wages".
Neither is this the first time Walmart workers have taken action. In 2017 employees across the U.S. went on strike on ‘Black Friday’. Many of Walmart’s employees are forced to rely on food stamps and other government support despite working full time.