Chilean workers fight privatisation

This is a video, with English subtitles, about the students’ movement in Chile.

Wonder Woman demands education reform in Chile: here.

Miners shut down Chile‘s state-owned copper mining company on Monday in a 24-hour strike against privatisation plans: here.

Thirty-one of the 33 miners trapped underground in a Chilean mine last year have sued the government for negligence: here.

Papua: Workers at the world’s largest gold mine maintained their strike for improved pay today despite a preliminary agreement hammered out by union reps and managers the previous night: here. Update: here.

Women workers manufacturing Converse trainers for Nike in Indonesia have lifted the lid on the dire working conditions and management bullying they endure: here.

USA: Jim Hightower, Truthout: “In March of last year, Massey Energy Corp.’s official record book for recording unsafe conditions in its Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia said flatly: ‘none observed.’ It turns out that this was a flat-out lie. Just one month later, Upper Big Branch exploded, killing 29 miners and devastating their families. Massey’s in-house ‘observers’ had indeed found safety problems – as they often did in this shoddily run, notoriously dangerous mine. But the corporation kept a dual set of books in order to mislead state and federal safety regulators”: here.

Joseph E. Stiglitz, Project Syndicate: “Just a few years ago, a powerful ideology – the belief in free and unfettered markets – brought the world to the brink of ruin… I was among those who hoped that, somehow, the financial crisis would teach Americans (and others) a lesson about the need for greater equality, stronger regulation, and a better balance between the market and government. Alas, that has not been the case. On the contrary, a resurgence of right-wing economics, driven, as always, by ideology and special interests, once again threatens the global economy”: here.

7 thoughts on “Chilean workers fight privatisation

  1. Thousands rally for public health

    CZECH REPUBLIC: Thousands of trade unionists and their allies rallied in central Prague today against the government’s drive to increase a daily fee charged to people in hospital and to require patients to pay for for medicines.

    Addressing crowds outside the health ministry Bohemian-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions head Jaroslav Zavadil said: “We reject turning public health into a business.”

    Unions are threatening to stage further protests unless the government ditches the regressive proposals.

    Transport unions halted trains across the country in June to express their opposition.



    One American’s tax subsidy (or loophole) is another American’s tax burden.

    Take the money out of the middle-class taxpayers’ pockets and put it into the super wealthy hands of the oil companies or hedge fund managers, for example.

    In essence, people of limited means who work by the hour are paying higher taxes in order to make wealthy people wealthier. Why? Because someone has to pay taxes for the services provided by the government.

    ThinkProgress noted this in terms of the tax subsidy we all pay to hedge fund managers:

    The top 25 hedge fund managers in the United States collectively earned $22 billion last year, and yet they have their own cushy set of tax rules. If they operated under the same rules that apply to other people – police officers, for example, or teachers – the country could cut its national deficit by as much as $44 billion in the next ten years.

    So, you and I are taxed at a higher rate than hedge fund managers for their personal gain on behalf of customers. Middle-income earners are subsidizing billionaires.

    Of course, taxpayers also subsidize oil companies that have been making record profits, including ExxonMobil, which recorded the highest corporate quarterly profit in history awhile back. As the Center for American Progress reports, the middle class is paying indirect taxes to the oil companies: “In effect, U.S. taxpayers wrote a collective $7 billion bonus check to the oil industry when they filed their taxes last month [for 2010].”

    Mainstream media euphemistically calls these taxpayer-subsidized profits by hedge fund managers and oil companies “loopholes.”

    That’s like a pickpocket saying that he didn’t steal a wallet, it just jumped into his hand.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout


  3. ‘Tremor’ accident kills mine worker

    CZECH REPUBLIC: One miner was killed and another injured at the privately owned Karvina coal mine on Tuesday.

    A spokesman for New World Resources (NWR), the Czech firm that owns the facility, said: “It was not an ordinary accident. It was a tremor, a geological event.”

    NWR said it was investigating the accident along with Czech regional mining authorities.


  4. Miners return to work after strike

    CHILE: About 45,000 employees of the country’s state-owned copper producer returned to work today after a one-day strike warning the government not to sell it off.

    Codelco bosses said they expected to lose £25 million from the lost production of 4,900 tons of copper.

    But the long-term impact should be minimal to a company expected to generate £6.8 billion in profits this year.

    Trade unionists have threatened to take more industrial action if they are excluded from talks over planned “restructuring.”


  5. 20 students on hunger strike

    CHILE: Twenty students are on a hunger strike to press President Sebastian Pinera’s right-wing government to boost investment in education.

    Spokeswoman Laura Ortiz said today that the hunger strike had begun at the start of the week with eight participants and grown to 20.

    She said that more were expected to join.

    Students launched the action because Mr Pinera’s administration has turned a blind eye to weeks of protests and school occupations in support of quality comprehensive state education and a free transportation pass for students.


  6. Pingback: Chilean miners on strike | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: Chileans demonstrate against privatized pensions | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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