AquaChile signs labor agreement with unions
AquaChile, one of Chile’s largest salmon farming companies, has signed an agreement with the labor union representing many of its workers.
The union, Trabajadores de la Industria del Salmón y Ramas Afines (Workers of the Salmon and Associated Industries), was formed following last year’s algal bloom in Chile, during which millions of salmon died, and as a result of resulting labor protests.
The agreement includes conditions to improve job stability, contracts for temporary work,, protections for women who go on maternity leave, protections of workers in case of naturally occurring setbacks for the industry such as algal blooms, and improved policies, according to an AquaChile press release.
"We share with the workers the concern for decent and quality jobs, such as those generated by salmon farming. The concern to protect the stability of their jobs was born from the workers themselves, which speaks of the sustainability required by industry,” AquaChile General Manager Agustín Ugalde said. “At AquaChile, the workers have always been our maximum value, which is why the signing of this agreement has a very special meaning for us and is a sign of the good relations we have developed.”
Víctor Devia, president of a union representing AquaChile workers, said the accord represents a breakthrough due to the opening of a direct dialogue with the company’s administration.
"We have been able to have a productive dialogue with leadership, which has ended a rivalry in which we always thought that one was deceiving the other. So with this now we have the possibility to look each other in the face and say what it is that we want and they tell us what it is that they are willing to give,"Devia said. "We hope that this agreement we have signed encourages other companies to sign their own agreements, and it is important that they do so by involving their workers in the process. "