Last Friday, workers at Chile’s largest port of Valparaiso reached a deal to put an end to a strike that had complicated fruit exports at the start of the Chilean summer.
Chilean dockworkers react after finishing a strike of 35 days against the port operator Terminal Pacifico Sur (South Pacific Terminal), obtaining a favorable response to their contractual demands, in a pact endorsed by the Government in Valparaiso, Chile December 21, 2018.
The workers first walked off the job in mid-November, demanding that TPS -that operates the docks- provide them with a bonus, more formal contracts and improved working conditions.
“We reached a deal after discussing with the port operator ... once we have signed it, with all the key points accounted for, we’ll return to work,” said Pablo Klimpel, of Chile’s Port Union. Klimpel told Reuters he expected workers to return to the port within hours.
The strike had caused fruit exports from Valparaiso to fall by 95 per cent from the same period last year. According to the Chilean Blueberry Committee, this port handles approximately 55 per cent of Chile’s fruit exports, including blueberries, nectarines, cherries, apples, kiwis and pears.