SANTIAGO.- Close to five thousand Chilean State Railways (EFE) users have been affected by a legal strike involving the company’s number 10 Union, which began at midnight, causing service in the central-southern part of the country to cease.
According to the president of the union, Juan Carlos Bernal, the organization is made up of 226 workers that are employed between Santiago and Temuco. The striking employees include people from the departments of transportation, electricity, sub-station operations, maintenance, traffic control, and drivers among others, which explains why the company has been obligated to halt service.
According to the leader of the union, the objective of the strike is to petition the company to homogenize salaries, since there are currently different compensation rates offered for the same positions. Bernales also indicated that negotiations had stopped due to the fact that the company had offered an agreement that proposed to lay-off workers with a minimal amount of benefits.
Service has also stopped for EFE cargo trains, which, according to Bernal, represents a significant economic loss for the company.