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Striking dockworkers clash with cops in Chilean port city

Chilean temporary stevedores reject agreement and riots increased in Valparaiso

A group of temporary stevedores clash with police, in Valparaiso, Chile, 19 December 2018. Reports state that the temporary stevedores in the Chilean port of Valparaiso rejected the agreement reached in the night of 18 December 2018 with the Government what originated that the confrontations in the center of the city intensified between the demonstrators and the special forces of Carabineros. EPA-EFE/Alberto Valdes

EFE

Striking on-call dockworkers in this Chilean port city voted Wednesday to reject a proposed settlement from the government amid clashes with police.

“By a large majority, we reject the government’s latest proposal, so we remain at a standstill and we are now moving to generate a national strike,” spokesman Pablo Klimpel said.

The offer was “insufficient,” he told journalists during a raucous assembly of Valparaiso stevedores who want the company Von Appen to pay them better and give them more shifts.

While the workers want to reach a settlement, “we cannot ask people to remain calm after 33 days without work,” Klimpel said as strikers clashed with police outside the hall.

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The spokesman said he had already reached out to workers at other ports to start a national walkout.

On Tuesday, after a six-hour meeting with strike leaders, Labor Minister Nicolas Monckeberg told reporters that he had signed a “pre-agreement” in the hope that the mobilizations in Valparaiso would end.

Instead, disturbances continued into the wee hours of Wednesday.


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