Denouncing the miserable working conditions and the refusal of taking part in any negotiations, the construction workers of a new airfield to be build in the area of Peldehue laid down their work last month and occupied the construction site. Since then, their struggle continues. Although formally contracted by a private firm, they are in fact working on a state owned project, the construction of a new airstrip to be used by the military.

On the 16th of October the workers of the Federation of Workers Clotario Blest Riffo fully paralysed the construction site of the Ministry of Public Works in Peldehue, when, after 10 days of waiting, there hadn’t yet been any response to engage in negotiations regarding salaries and working conditions, of those employed on the site. For eight days straight, no work was done whatsoever and the construction of the military facility lay idle while the site was occupied by its workers.

Workers protest Peldehue Airfield

Already in July a major construction site of a state owned project, the prison in El Manzano, was blockaded by its workers after their just demands were not met by the company exploiting their workforce for their gain, carrying out a contract for the Chilean state. With the strike and occupation in Peldehue, it is yet again shown, that the Chilean government, while giving out promises to the people, is nothing else but enforcing the exploitation of the working class by companies breaking its own laws, when handing out contracts to companies that deny the rights of the workers, disregard occupational-safety measures and try bring the workers in competition with one another. However, the workers are having none of it. In a statement released last week, they called to continue to “organize the fight inside and outside the legal framework”.