The Chilean government meets with unions, seeking a solution to the country's crisis



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The Chilean government meets with unions, seeking a solution to the country's crisis



The CHILEAN government met with unions for the first time yesterday to find a solution to a severe social crisis that has lasted more than 40 days and has raised market concerns.

For the first time since the outbreak of the crisis on October 18, members of the government of Conservative President Sebastian Pinera met with representatives of the Platform for Social Unity, an alliance of social and trade union organizations, which has made numerous calls for protests.



Alliance members include the Unified Workers 'Center (CUT), the country's most powerful union, a teachers' association and the “No + AFP” group, which seeks to abolish the Chilean privatized pension system, which is a major demand of protesters.

“We have made it clear that we do not want to negotiate behind the backs of our people, that this is not how we think and that the government must now respond to the proposals put forward,” Mario Aguilar, president of the teachers' association, said after the meeting.

With the government announcing a series of social measures in October to stem the crisis, trade unions and many protesters are now expanding claims and seeking a 50 percent increase in the minimum wage ($ 301,000 pesos, $ 400) and replacing a period-based personal savings pension system. the dictatorship of Augustus Pinochet, a system of intergenerational solidarity.

Police shoot at protesters, killing 23 people so far

Home Minister Gonzalo Blumel, the first man in government, expressed his satisfaction that the parties had “agreed to enter into dialogue on major social agenda issues” such as wages, access to a quality healthcare system and pensions.

At the same time, Parliament is debating several draft laws proposed by the government to help preserve public order, such as the law to combat riots in protests and a law that will allow the military to protect public infrastructure without imposing a state of emergency.

In a 42-day protest movement, 23 people were killed, including five after police forces intervened, and more than 2,000 were injured. Among them, nearly 300 sustained severe eye injuries when police fired on shotgun protesters.

The Chilean currency fell record high again for the second consecutive day yesterday and the dollar closed 828.36 pesos near the end of the stock market, down 1.1 percent. Since the outbreak of the crisis, the value of the peso has fallen about 15 percent.

To stem this decline, the central bank announced that it would inject $ 20 billion into the economy by the end of May, following its first intervention in mid-November, when it injected $ 4 billion into the foreign exchange market.

The Chilean government meets with unions, seeking a solution to the country's crisis

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