Ecoceanos Centre accompanied trade unionists who say that low working conditions would constitute labour and environmental dumping.
Santiago, October 11th 2019. (Ecoceanos News) Syndicate of divers, crew of sea cargo ships and the salmon industry in Chile, informed the U.S. government’s Department of Labor About poor hygiene and safety conditions in the workplace, low wages, and double standards of national and international salmon companies operating in Chilean Patagonia.
The meeting held at the end of September was part of the monitoring process of the labor issues contained in Chile-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. The binational treaty established National Contact Points in both countries, who regularly update information in order to assess compliance with this agreement.
Trade unions said there is little oversight in Chile, little transparency and low credibility, government statistical information. In addition to the double labor standards applied by transnational companies, precarious safety conditions, and high accident and worker deaths rates. This situation occurs in the context of outdated and precarious diving and working regulations in ships, cultivation centers and marine platforms.
In this meeting Ecoceanos Centre noted that «Chile is the country with the lowest wages, the most extensive working hours, and the globally highest mortality rate of farmed salmon industry”.
This citizen organization emphasized that “the United States being the main market for Chilean salmon exports, and the main economic force that drives the productive and territorial expansion of this mega industry in southern Chile, its government, importers, retail chains , and consumer organizations, should investigate the numerous allegations of abuse and violations of workers rights; the lack of transparency and verifiable information for consumers; the questionable veracity of labor, health and environmental statistics provided by industry and the State; the lack of control, and the application of double standards by transnational corporations. ”
The idea ofdelivering this information to the United States government, arose after an investigation called “Salmon of blood from the south of the world” carried out by Ecoceanos Centre and Quellón Salmon Workers Federation (Fetrasal) , where the death in labor activities of 46 workers during the last six years in the salmon industry was preliminary registered. As an average, in the first six months of 2019 one salmon worker has died monthly.
Workers’ organizations established that the different reported situations would constitute «labor and environmental dumping» cases.