Processing plant workers join civil unrest at Chile’s salmon epicentre.
Around Chile, protesters have been blocking main routes to the country’s salmon heartlands such as Puerto Montt, where goods are struggling to get out of the city to be exported, reports 33 Segundos.
Salmon farmers are operating in a country where hundreds of thousands of people are rallying across the country and in its capital, Santiago, calling for social justice. To date, at least 17 people have been killed and hundreds more injured.
Furthermore, a reporter for Cooperativa posted on Twitter that salmon plant workers are now taking to the streets in Quellón, the Chilean port town and commune in southern Chiloé Island, Los Lagos Region.
Trabajadores de la industria del salmón se suman a las movilizaciones.Manifestantes mantienen bloqueado camino acceso San Antonio en Quellón.En Castro gran congestión vehicular por toma de acceso norte de la ciudad @Cooperativa #CooperativaTuVoz pic.twitter.com/kvQVqmSHoO
— Maria Soledad Lorca M (@soledadlorca) October 28, 2019
The President of the workers union Federacion del Salmon De Quellon, Gustavo Cortes Solis, said he was demanding new pensions and an end to the old scheme as well as free education and healthcare. He also called to fellow workers to join the barricades or to stay in their homes.
“As salmon workers, we are all united fighting in the streets for the demands that as a country we want to be achieved because this will not only benefit a few but to all. And also be able to raise our demands as workers and salmon workers, every day earn millions of dollars at the expense of work and sacrifice of workers,” he wrote on Facebook.
It’s not known who they work for but in the city, AquaChile is operating the largest salmon plant in the world at 140 thousand tonnes.
#Trabajadores de las plantas de proceso del Salmón y redes Quellón a esta hora se manifiestan en un corte de ruta en #Quellón, En resumen la ruta hacia San Antonio, Oqueldan, Chaiguao ha sido tomada y el cruce de Santa Rosa y Candelaria. #PineraDictador #ChileEnResistencia pic.twitter.com/tYiV2WZzsd
— MARIÑAMKU (@caldillodetripa) October 28, 2019
Some salmon operators are operating at only 40 per cent capacity, which is having an effect on prices and fish availability. On Monday, US wholesaler Samuels and Son told SalmonBusiness that this week there will “probably be a few days where we don’t have any Chilean Salmon in-house or not enough”.