Chile: Solidarity letter with Chilean Dockers

Joe Higgins MEP denounces the “cynical exploitation of the destruction caused by the earthquake and tsunami by the dock companies”

Dear Comrades,

I am writing to express my full solidarity and the solidarity of the Committee for a Workers International with the working people of Chile and in particular the workers in the port of Talcahuano, in Bio Bío region.

The cynical exploitation of the destruction caused by the earthquake and tsunami by the dock companies is a disgrace and must be strongly resisted by workers.

No workers should be laid off at the docks. The companies have made huge profits off the backs of its workforce over the years. Now they must ensure that its workers’ pay is continued and that they do not suffer any further hardship.

The practice of avoid reallocating jobs to unionised workers is clearly a case of the companies using the disaster to attempt to break the unions influence in the future. This must be fully resisted by the trade union movement in Chile and by workers internationally. In keeping with this I support the call by the Congemar union for a boycott of all companies involved in blacking the Talcahuano dockers.

Furthermore, in order to prevent big business exploiting the situation further it is essential that any aid given for the people of Chile must be put under the democratic control of the working class in Chile. Committees of trade unionists, the unemployed and local communities must be established to distribute the aid and decide on how the reconstruction of housing and infrastructure should take place.

I and my comrades in the Committee for a Workers International would be glad to give any political or practical assistance that we can to your struggles.

Yours in solidarity,

Joe Higgins MEP

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March 2010