Nova Austral workers fear mass job losses in Magallenes

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Union fears Nova Austral scandal and possible loss of tax breaks could cause mass unemployment in southernmost region of Chile.

El Pinguino reports that Nova Austral Union rep Rodrigo Valencia said that he feared that more than 1,200 workers at the scandal-engulfed salmon farmer could be up in the air.

Valencia said that the removal of the Navarino Law – an incentive which currently exempts the salmon farmer from income tax – could also jeopardise operations. Chilean authorities are considering suspending Nova Austral from Navarino’s tax and customs exemptions which have been favouring taxpayers in the territory of the XII Region of Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica since 1985.

“It took 22 years in the company and I never had any problem until today, that I realise unfortunately, I have no news of the Government, of anybody who is telling us what is happening with our company. We are in great need of information about act, presence, to see the possibility also, that the fact that we want to work is fruitful,” said Valencia.

The salmon farmer has been under intense scrutiny after it was revealed that they had manipulated fish mortality figures to allegedly avoid fines.