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Chile registers more active unions and fewer strikes

A recurring comment during the negotiation of the minimum wage within Congress in these weeks was the criticism – by some parliamentarians – that the agreement reached by the government with the workers only involved the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT).

“The CUT is not the only trade union center in Chile”, said more than one parliamentarian in the different commissions. Faced with this questioning, the Minister of Labor, Jeannette Jara, answered on more than one occasion that the Central was a key actor, since it is the largest union organization in Chile and, therefore, the most representative. But is it really so?

A few weeks ago, the Labor Directorate released its latest statistical yearbook, updated to 2020, which compiles a series of data related to unionization. According to the data, there are 12,355 active unions in Chile (an increase of 3.5% compared to 2019), which represent 1.2 million people. Of that figure, 38.2% is in the Metropolitan Region.

In terms of structure, 3,807 workers’ organizations – both unions and associations – are affiliated with a trade union center. According to the yearbook, the CUT brings together 3,101 entities, that is, 81.4%, which makes it the entity with the most members.

The document reveals that during 2020, 494 strikes were approved, involving 86,152 workers. However, of that total, only 72 work stoppages were carried out with 12,987 related employees, which meant a drop of 55.2% compared to the mobilizations of 2019.

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