SANTIAGO – The union representing Chile’s public employees on Tuesday rejected the latest pay offer from the government of President Michelle Bachelet and announced a strike.
Raul de la Puente, president of the Anef union, said that a 48-hour strike would begin Wednesday.
After several rounds of talks, the government improved its initial proposal for a raise, from 3.5 percent to 4 percent.
Unions, which began the negotiations demanding an 8 percent hike, have reduced that figure to 5 percent.
Finance Minister Rodrigo Valdes, who has led the government bargaining team, said that “Chile’s economic reality does not allow (us) to meet all the employees’ demands.”
“The government is implementing a fiscal adjustment at the cost of the workers,” said Carlos Inzunza, coordinator of the unions’ bargaining team.