Potential demonstrations on December 11 in Santiago, Valparaiso, during salary bill discussions
Sources in the Union of State Employees (ANEF), the largest union in the country, suggested on December 6 that industrial actions and demonstrations could potentially take place on December 11 while Congress debates in Valparaiso the Readjustment Salary Bill. Although the measure sponsored by the government seeks to adjust salaries for 2019, ANEF and left-leaning groups are demanding provisions to prevent the government from firing employees while rehiring those laid off in recent months. ANEF indicated that it seeks guarantees on this matter, especially after President Sebastián Piñera committed to evaluate dismissals only after performance considerations. On December 6 ANEF supporters demonstrated in the vicinity of La Moneda Presidential Palace and the Treasury Ministry in Santiago, leading to low-level scuffles between protesters and security forces.
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Precedent suggest there is potential for violence during demonstrations triggered by labor-disputes and economic grievances, especially if the government is perceived to overlook the demands posed by ANEF. In Santiago, focal points for protests include La Moneda, the Treasury Ministry, and the Alameda avenue (Bernardo O’Higgins). In turn, in Valparaiso demonstrators are likely to gather outside Congress.
Those operating or residing in Chile, and especially in Santiago and Valparaiso, are advise to exercise vigilance due to potential for unruly demonstrations.