Chilean port strike ends

01/27/2014 09:09:00 AM
Andy Nelson

A port strike in Chile has ended after 22 days.

Striking workers at the Port of San Antonio went back to work Jan. 26, according to media reports.

Workers were striking over retroactive pay for lunch breaks.

The strike ended when port operators agreed to a lump sum payment for lunch breaks workers hadn’t been compensated for since 2005.

During the strike, police special forces were brought in to ensure non-striking workers could work safely. Police also arrested some strikers.

Even as the strike entered its third week, U.S. fruit importers were unsure what effect, if any, the strike had on Chilean fruit exports to the U.S.

In the week ending Jan. 18, U.S. imports of Chilean avocados, blueberries, cherries, grapes, nectarines and peaches were up from the week before, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Imports of Chilean avocados, cherries and grapes were higher in the week ending Jan. 18 than in the same week in 2013. Blueberry, nectarine and peach imports were lower.

Some U.S. importers believe the strike, coming less than a year after another one at a Chilean port, could hurt the image Chile is trying to cultivate of being business-friendly.



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