University of Minnesota

Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Chile, Inter-Am. C.H.R., OEA/Ser.L/V/II.66, Doc. 17 (1985).





1. Article XXII of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man provides:

Every person has the right to associate with others to promote, exercise and protect his legitimate interests of a political, economic, religious, social, cultural, professional, labor union or other nature.

2. In turn, Articles 26 and 27 of the Inter-American Charter of Social Guarantees [1] stipulate the following:

Article 26. Workers and employers without distinction as to sex, race, creed or political ideas, have the right freely to form associations for the protection of their respective interests, by forming trade associations or unions, which in turn may form federations among them. These organizations have the right to juridical personality and to be duly protected in the exercise of their rights. Their suspension or dissolution may not be ordered save by due process of law.

Conditions of substance and form that must be met for the constitution and functioning of trade and union organizations should not go so far as to restrict freedom of association.

The organization, functioning and dissolution of federations and confederations shall be subject to the same formalities as those prescribed for unions.

Members of boards of directors of trade unions, in a number established by the respective law and during their term of office, may not be discharged, transferred or given less satisfactory working conditions, without just cause, previously determined by a competent authority.

Article 27. Workers have the right to strike. The law shall regulate the conditions and the exercise of the right.

3. Article 43 (c) of the Charter of the Organization of American States, as amended by the Protocol of Buenos Aires, reads as follows:

The Member States, convinced that man can only achieve the full realization of his aspirations within a just social order, along with economic development and true peace, agree to dedicate every effort to the application of the following principles and mechanisms:

C. Employers and workers, both rural and urban, have the right to associate themselves freely for the defense and promotion of their interests, including the right to collective bargaining and the workers’ right to strike, and recognition of the juridical personality of their associations and the protection of their freedom and independence, all in accordance with applicable laws.

4. In addition, with respect to the international law applicable to trade union freedom in Chile, it should be recalled that, notwithstanding the fact that Chile has not ratified ILO Conventions Nos. 87 and 98 (1948 and 1969), concerning freedom of association and protection of the right to organize and the right to collective bargaining, these rights are recognized in the Constitution of the ILO itself. [2]

5. Furthermore, it should be recalled that the ILO, when dealing with the problem of labor union freedom in Chile in general, pointed specifically to the basic principles to which all union legislation should conform, and in particular the following: [3]

a. The right to establish trade unions should be granted to all workers in the private and public sectors, including public servants.

b. It should be possible to establish trade union organizations without previous authorization by the public authorities, and the legal formalities of establishing them, including the conditions for acquisition of legal personality.

c. Workers should have the right to establish the organizations of their own choosing. Such organizations should have the right to further and defend their members' interests. To avoid the disadvantages of a possible multiplicity of small and weak trade unions, however, it would be worth considering granting the most representative organizations special rights, mainly with regard to collective bargaining on behalf of a group or category of workers, their representative character being determined by objective criteria and procedures.

d. Trade union organizations should have the right freely to establish federations and confederations, and such federations and confederations should have the same statutory rights as their affiliates.

e. Trade union organizations should have the right, without official. Interference, to draw up their own rules, to elect their representatives in freedom, to hold meetings to discuss questions which concern them, and to decide on matters of internal management and action to further and defend their members' interests. Freedom of expression should be guaranteed to all trends of trade union opinion.

f. Trade union organizations should respect the law of the land, but the law should not be incompatible with the principles of freedom of association. Trade union organizations should not be liable to suspension or dissolution by administrative authority.

g. Workers, and in particular trade union leaders and other representatives of the workers in the undertaking, should enjoy adequate protection against acts of anti-union discrimination in respect of employment.


a. Labor Union Legislation in force in Chile before September 11, 1973

6. For the purposes of this chapter, it is advisable to examine briefly the status of labor union rights in Chile before the change of the political system in 1973. The Commission believes that in this way it can more effectively help to establish the behavior of the Government of Chile with respect to labor union freedom during the lengthy period covered by this report, and especially to ascertain whether or not, within the new order that came into being in 1973, Chilean policy in labor matters has been aimed at accomplishing the objectives set forth in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.

7. The 1925 Constitution of Chile granted all the inhabitants of the Republic “the right of association without prior license, and in conformity with the law” (Chapter III, Article 10, (5)). Article 10 (14) confirmed freedom to work and job protection; the right to association in labor unions and the right to strike “in accordance with the law”. It also recognized the right of labor unions, federations, and confederations to juridical personality “by the mere act of registering their charters and bylaws in the manner and under the conditions determined by law”. Finally it provided that labor unions are “free to accomplish their own objectives”.

8. For their part, the principal provisions concerning labor unions were contained in the 1931 Labor Code and the subsequent amendments thereof. In addition to the Code there are several laws and decrees with force of law in which agricultural labor matters were extensively regulated. [4]

9. Book Three (Title I) of the Code dealt with “Labor Union Associations.” In principle, Article 365 granted the right of association in labor unions “to persons of both sexes, over 18 years of age,” who worked in one and the same enterprise or work place, or who were engaged in one and the same trade or occupation or similar or related occupations, whether manual or intellectual.

10. A distinction was made between unions of employers, of employees, of manual workers, mixed unions and unions of self-employed persons (Article 366). However, unions were either industrial or occupational (idem).

11. According to Article 367, unions were defined as “institutions for mutual collaboration between the factors that contribute to production”. Therefore, organizations whose procedures hampered work discipline were considered contrary to the spirit and rules of the law.

12. Unions were entitled to acquire and hold (Article 371) property of all kinds on any title.

13. In accordance with Article 374 unions were prohibited from accomplishing objectives other than those specified in the Labor Code and their own bylaws or to perform acts designed to impair individual freedom, freedom to work and that of industries, in accordance with the Constitution and laws.

14. Persons who wished to organize a union were required to notify the corresponding labor inspectors (Article 375). No person was entitled to be a union official unless he was a Chilean citizen, above 18 years of age and had not been convicted or was not being prosecuted for a crime or misdemeanor (Article 376, a, b, c).

15. Labor unions were considered legally constituted once legal personality had been granted them by the President of the Republic, for which purpose they were required to apply for it to the Labor Directorate (Article 382). Once legal personality was obtained, the labor union was required to be registered in the National Labor Union Register of the Labor Directorate (Article 383).

16. The Code differentiated (Articles 384 to 414 of Title II) industrial unions from occupational unions and deals with their purposes, boards of directors, and assets. Overall, these provisions were aimed at making union rights effective and securing the benefits of association. Thus, for example, Article 390 provided that the boards of directors of unions were to be elected by cumulative vote, in general meetings of members, and by secret ballot.

17. In the case of occupational unions, that is to say, associations formed by persons engaged in the same occupation, industry or work, or similar activities (Article 410), they could establish unions or confederations for the defense of their common interests under Article 414. These confederations needed legal personality in the same way as the unions themselves, and were not entitled to represent the unions until they had obtained that personality (Article 414, (2)) [5]

18. The purposes of both industrial and occupational unions, as defined in Article 417 (1) were as follows:

a. To enter into collective labor contracts;

b. To represent workers in their individual labor contracts and in the exercise of their rights arising from those contracts;

c. To represent workers in collective conflicts and on conciliation and arbitration boards;

d. To undertake cooperative, commissary, cultural, insurance and social welfare, or mutual aid activities.

19. Article 415 regulated the, dissolution of labor unions, and federations and confederations thereof, namely: i) it was to be decreed by the President because of the circumstances exhaustively specified in the Code and ii) it did not affect unions that formed part of the federations, etc., if that were the case.

20. In Book IV (Title I) the Labor Code provided for all matters relating to labor courts and tribunals (Article 495); procedure in the case of complaint (Articles 517 to 560); appeal of judgments (Articles 561 to 573); execution of judgments (Arts. 574 to 576); and judicial personnel (Articles 579 to 587).

21. With respect to collective labor disputes (Articles 589 to 596) the Code stipulated: “In any enterprise, establishment or work place with more than 10 manual workers or employees,” work could not be interrupted inopportunely, either by employers or employees, until the conciliation procedures provided for in the Code (Art. 589) had been exhausted. This procedure (Articles 609 to 614) granted the parties appropriate means for asserting their points of view and reaching an agreement through joint meetings of the parties concerned and their representatives (Article 611).

22. The Code defined the right to lockout (Article 615) as the “forced unemployment of workers or employees of an enterprise ... caused... by order of an employer”.

23. The right to strike was dealt with in great detail in the Chilean Labor Code. First, Article 627 provided that, when all negotiations for settlement had failed, the union could declare a strike provided the circumstances mentioned in the same article prevailed. Those circumstances were: i) the denunciation of the collective labor contract in question; ii) the strike decision was taken by secret ballot in which two-thirds of the members of the labor union participated and by an absolute majority of the members voting. The omission of any of these requirements nullified the declaration. The same conditions were required for “lockout” in the case of trade associations (Article 628).

24. In addition to the above-mentioned limitations or requirements, the Code stipulated (Article 626) a general limitation of the right to strike [6] (Articles 14 to 33), as did Law No. 16,225 of 1967 (Articles 24-33), in that the government could order resumption of the operations as required by the general interest; however, this measure required a prior special decree that would give the grounds for the measure or indicate whether the strike “directly endangered the health or socio-economic life of the population.” [7]

25. Finally, the Code contained provisions (Articles 634-635) on offenses against freedom to work, that is, threats against a worker or employee, whether by the labor union or confederation or pressure on him; acts to prevent attendance at work, and destruction of materials, etc. in work places.

26. Accordingly, it is possible to infer that, before September 11, 1973, there was in Chile an internal legislation, both constitutional and legal that stipulated the basic guarantees and principles recognized for the exercise of union freedom. In particular, the right to organize unions, federations or confederations of workers, as well as the rights to collective bargaining, collective labor disputes, and strike were fully recognized and regulated by the legal system of the country without any limitations other than those necessary in a democratic society.

a. Principal Decrees and Legislative Measures Enacted Immediately after September 11, 1973

i. Dissolution of the CUT

27. Under Decree Law No. 12 of September 17, 1973, the legal personality of the Sole Federation of Workers (CUT) [8] was revoked and on November 13, 1973 the organization was dissolved pursuant to Decree No. 133 of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. [9] The legal personality of the CUT had been recognized by Law No. 17,594 of December 31, 1971, together with the various provisions applying to that Federation. The last-mentioned decree stated that the dissolution of the CUT was necessary since the liquidation of the assets of the organization and the appointment of a beneficiary was not envisaged in its statutes; the then Director of Labor was appointed liquidator pursuant to Decree No. 325 of 1964 mentioned above.

ii. Proclamation No. 36

28. On September 18, 1973, Proclamation No. 36 was issued and dealt with all workers, whether manual workers, employees, technical or professional personnel. This proclamation of the Military Government Junta set forth specified labor guidelines, according to which all persons who could be considered “activists”, “saboteurs”, “criminals” could be dismissed from their jobs or employment, in accordance with the provisions of the Proclamation. In addition, and until future provisions were adopted, the following were suspended pursuant to Proclamation No. 36. Conciliation boards, the Central Wages Committee, collective labor disputes or petitions for a change in working conditions; the validity of any agreement that was the result of collective bargaining or of arbitral award or other existing labor policy instruments; the activity of unions in matters of conciliation or collective labor conflicts, and the right to strike, although other activities could be carried out but always subject to the natural restrictions of the state of siege; absence from work from one’s employment or in the unions could not be authorized; union meetings could not be held after working hours, and any other union activity that did not have statutory bases such as the so-called “vigilance committees” was prohibited.

29. It should be pointed out that in Proclamation No. 36 the Government again reaffirmed its desire to respect the rights of workers, establish social justice without any discrimination, and combat unemployment.

iii. Decree No. 32

30. This decree [10] established special labor courts and amended the provisions of the Labor Code relating to grounds for dismissal, [11] terminations of employment contracts, and which formed part of the decrees additional to the 1931 Labor Code and the immunities of labor unions. The preamble of Decree No. 32 referred to the need to restore the principle of discipline. [12]

31. In short, the decree stipulated that:

a. Dismissed workers could only complain to a special court that operated in each territorial department of the country and was composed of a competent labor judge, a member of the armed forces, and a labor inspector.

b. The grounds for dismissal were the following; Commission of any illegal act that could prevent workers from working (without specific definition of the nature of such acts); destruction of materials, tools, merchandise, or acts that reduced their value; to direct or participate in the interruption or suspension of work activities; incitement to the destruction of facilities or to interrupt their operation by any means; to have taken part in, or directly effected, the concealment of weapons.

c. The special courts, in summary proceedings, and without the right to appeal, heard and decided any dismissal complaint.

32. It should be noted that, although the establishment of special courts was later suspended by Decree No. 676 [13], the above-mentioned additional grounds for dismissal of workers were kept in effect after 1975 pursuant to Decree No. 930 of March 15, 1975. [14]

iv. Decrees No. 6 and 22

33. Under these decrees (enacted, respectively, in September and October 1973), all public sector personnel were made temporary employees. In this regard Decree No. 22 provided that all employees were provisional appointees or could be discharged. Decree No. 193 of December 1973 established special committees, composed in each case of the governor of the territorial department, a representative of the armed forces and a representative of the department in which the employee worked, to consider complaints against dismissals in the public sector.

V. Decree No. 43

34. The purpose of this decree was to suspend all the provisions in effect, regardless of their origin, relating to the determination of wages, in both the public and the private sector. [15] In this regard it should be noted that Decree No. 97 of October 2, 1973 regulated wages and cost of living increases but repealed other earlier agreements on automatic increases in effect since 1960.

vi. Decree No. 198

35. This decree of 10 December 1973, [16] established a new labor code, if it could be so designated by reason of the series of provisions it comprised. In brief, it provided that:

a. Unions of manual workers and employees would be regulated by the provisions in force except as provided in the decree itself, which replaced or amended them as appropriate;

b. Any political activity in unions was prohibited;

c. Union meetings could be held (while the state of siege was in effect) solely for the purpose of information or internal management of the union itself; they were to take place after working hours and to comply with the curfew; the place, time and agenda of the meeting was to be communicated in writing to the nearest section of Carabineros at least two days before the prospective meeting.

d. All appointments of union officials were to be communicated to the pertinent labor inspector or to the public authority and that authority could object to appointments on the grounds that “the person concerned was unsuitable in accordance with the provisions of the decree itself”.

e. Vacancies in the union committees were to be filled automatically by the most senior members of the union.

36. These were the most important measures adopted by the Government of Chile that directly related to the right of association and union freedom during the initial period following the military coup.

37. There is no doubt that, among these measures, one of the most important, because of its scope in the labor field, was the dissolution of the CUT and the total liquidation of its assets.

38. The Government of Chile gave as a reason or ground for that dissolution the fact that the CUT was not a labor union organization proper, but rather a political organization and that its purposes were those of imposing a Marxist-Leninist government on Chile; that its leaders had been fraudulently elected; and that, in general, it depended on State support. In this regard the Government of Chile stated that labor unions in the country had been giving priority to illegal activities contrary to the social and economic interests of the country. [17]

39. Under its Note of October 20, 1975, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights sent to the Government of Chile a questionnaire concerning the measures that Government had adopted on the right of association and union freedom. Among the questions asked on that occasion, mention should be made of the application of Decree No. 198 and whether the Government of Chile had implemented the recommendations made by the ILO, through the Commission that had visited Chile.

40. As recorded in the Second Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Chile, [18] the Government of Chile did not reply to that questionnaire, alleging that the questions asked did not refer to specific or particular cases. [19]

C. Decree Law No. 2,200 of 1978

41. On June 15, 1978, the Government of Chile enacted Decree Law No. 2,200 establishing Rules relating to Employment Contracts and the Protection of Workers.

42. This Decree Law has the character of a labor code designed to replace the 1931 Code.

43. Although a further analysis will not be made of this decree law, whose full validity was extremely short since it was later substantially amended by Decrees Nos. 2376 of 1978; 2759 and 3355 of 1979; 3648 of 1981 and by laws No. 18,011 and 18,032 of 1981 and No. 18,372 of 1984, the following should be pointed out:

a. It eliminated the distinction between unions of employees and of manual workers provided for in the Labor Code;

b. It emphasized individual contracts (Articles 7-29) whereas collective labor contracts are covered only by the last four paragraphs of Article 60;

c. It gave the employer an advantageous position with respect to the breaking of the individual labor contract and the consequent dismissal of the worker concerned;

d. It did not contain any provisions relating to collective labor disputes or, in particular, to the right to strike in the terms provided for by the 1931 Code (Articles 630 and 631).

d. Decrees No. 2,345, 2,346 and 2,347

44. On October 19, 1978 the then Minister of the Interior of Chile in a radio and televised address announced a series of measures adopted by the Government in the labor field. They included the enactment of a decree law granting the Minister of the Interior special powers to “recommend to the President the dismissal of any official who, by commission or omission, prevented the exercise of civic rights, or to eliminate or simplify, in the various departments of state, unnecessary bureaucratization and procedures incompatible with modern society”. Likewise, in the above-mentioned address, the Minister stated that the Government had decided “to dissolve, because they are illegal, seven labor union associations with a clear Marxist orientation that are still in operation and to impose penalties on any labor union organization that operated in the labor field without proper authorization”. [20]

45. Indeed, Decree No. 2,345 of October 17, 1978, granting discretionary powers to the Government in the matter of dismissals from the civil service and State enterprises, directly affected union officials since, according to Article 5 of the above-mentioned decree, the powers conferred on the Ministry of the interior would not be limited by earlier provisions or statutes of any kind, and therefore those leaders of the public sector could be dismissed simply by a decision of the Executive.

46. The above-mentioned Decree 2,345 of 1978 was also a kind of serious warning to the labor union sector of the civil service and State enterprises that their right to work would not have any legal protection in the future. The National Association of State Employees (ANEF), commenting on Decree No. 2,345, stated the following: “Apart from the fact that this decision of the Government is an extension of the same type of power as those granted to the Minister of Finance in 1976 to dismiss public employees, it is difficult to explain that for more than four years the Government has been de-bureaucratization the government apparatus, since there have been continuous mass dismissals of employees and many departments have been eliminated or are in the process of being eliminated, as in the case of CORA”.

47. A communication or complaint presented to the ILO by international labor union organizations alleges that, pursuant to the above-mentioned Decree No. 2345, the local labor unions of the public sector have been dissolved and their officials have been dismissed from their posts. [21]

48. As for Decree No. 2,346 of October 17 1978, its legislative function was to dissolve seven labor union federations and the labor unions that were members of them, numbering about 550 [22], as well as to confiscate their property and to prohibit civil servants and the staff of State enterprises from organizing unions. It complemented Decree No. 2,345, which was of the same repressive nature or at least severely limited union freedom and especially the right to organize.

49. The Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to the 1978 General Assembly of the OAS [23] referred to the fact that the Government of Chile had reported the suspension of the application of Decree No. 2,346. However, the Minister of the Interior of Chile had stated in October 1978, that is to say, subsequent to the reports supplied to the Commission, that the purpose of dissolving the unions was to enable “workers to be represented by authentic union leaders.” [24]

50. Decree Law No. 2347 of October 17, 1978 defined a new offense against the security of the State and made it subject, as regards jurisdiction and procedure, to the provisions of title VI of Law No. 12,927 of August 6, 1978 on State Security (Article 2). Article 1 of Decree No. 2347 declared any association or group that without having legal capacity (legal personality) assumed the representation of workers to be contrary to the security of the State. The Decree imposed the penalty of imprisonment in its medium and maximum degrees on offenders.

51. This Decree, like those mentioned above, had an immediate impact on union organizations since, as a result of its enactment, 35 labor unions became illegal and their officials were liable to legal penalties.

e. The “Labor Plan”

52. The Labor Plan groups a number of decrees laws enacted by the Government of Chile in June and July 1979 that were designed to establish a more stable “juridical order” in the labor area, most of which replaced in whole or in part the provisions in force since 1973.

53. For its part, in presenting the Plan, the Government of Chile stated that it embodied for the first time “the bases of a democratic labor union movement.” [25]

54. The Labor Plan basically comprised the following decree law: Decree Law No. 2756 of June 29, 1979 establishing rules for labor union organization; Decree Law No. 2758 of the same date, containing provisions on collective bargaining; Decree No. 2760 of July 1979, containing provisions for the defense of free competition; and Decree No. 2755 of June 29, 1979. Subsequently, the Government enacted other decrees, which the Commission will refer to, once a brief examination has been made of the principal characteristics and scope of the above-mentioned decrees.

55. Because of their special importance, Decrees 2756 and 2758, which deal with union organization and collective bargaining. Will now be examined separately by the Commission

f Decree No. 2756 on Union Organization

56. It should be pointed out that Decree No. 2756 again established in Chile the right to association, that is, to form unions of workers for the defense of their interests and therefore repealed Decree No. 198 of 1973 which had been criticized.

57. Despite the apparent purpose of the Decree, the fact is that it contains serious limitations on the freedom it claimed to guarantee, since the unions could not be organized unless one year had elapsed since an enterprise had begun operations (Article 8).

58. In accordance with this decree, a union could be declared dissolved without any type of proceeding, pursuant to Articles 54 and 55, whenever requested by an employer, the Government (Ministry of Labor) or any interested person, which in actual fact made the union organization forever provisional.

59. It indirectly (Articles 10 and 11) established limitations on the organization of unions by imposing minimum percentages of the number of workers necessary for forming a trade union at between 10 percent and 15 percent of the staff, depending on whether a union of an enterprise, a union of an establishment, or an inter-enterprise union, respectively, was involved. in application of the above-mentioned provisions, this could mean that, to organize a union, the participation of a very high number of union members would be necessary if the minimum number of members were increased.

60. It also limited the meetings of unions since, according to Article 46 of the Decree, they could only be held in the headquarters of the union, and public meetings in streets or assembly rooms were prohibited.

61. A positive factor was that Decree No. 2756 was a notable step forward compared with Decree No. 2,376 of 1978, which prohibited the existence of labor unions of the second degree. In accordance with Article 13 on legal personality, the Decree provided that a union would acquire that personality at the time it deposited its bylaws; nevertheless, Article 14 granted Labor Inspectors the power to object to the organization of a union, which appeared to be a discretionary power of the authorities, contrary to the basic principle of the right to organize unions in accordance with the law, which must serve to facilitate that organization and not to impede it unnecessarily.

62. The Decree prohibited union federations or confederations from participating in collective bargaining and signing collective labor agreements, which seriously impairs minimum union freedom.

63. The decree also establishes a certain number of detailed requirements for the election of union officials, in accordance with Article 20.

64. One of the most disputed questions relating to Decree No. 2756 of 1979 is the right of employers to appeal against resolutions of the administrative authorities declaring the juridical incapacity of unions, which remedy has to be filed with the civil courts to which reference is made in Article 23 of that decree. [26]

g. Decree No. 2758 on Collective Bargaining and the Declaration of Strikes

65. As indicated at the beginning of this chapter, the right to collective bargaining is one of the basic elements of the content of the right to union freedom, recognized in ILO Convention 98 (1949), which, although it has not been ratified by Chile, was recognized by pre-1973 legislation in the Labor Code (Articles 589 et seq.).

66. This matter was regulated by Decree No. 2758 of June 29, 1979, which reestablished the right to collective bargaining in Chile. The principal characteristics of the above-mentioned decree are summarized below.

67. Articles 4-7 limit collective bargaining to factory level unions and therefore negotiations through federations or confederations of workers are not covered by it. In practice this establishes a limitation that, apart from excluding a large labor sector from that right, weakens the defense of labor interests through collective bargaining that should be guaranteed throughout the trade union spectrum, which is against the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Article 8) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 22).

68. It also excludes (Article 7) from collective bargaining workers engaged in the administration of the State and of public or private enterprises, more than 50 percent of whose budgets are financed by the State; as well as of public utility services they may be even though administered by the private sector.

69. It also prohibits (Article 6) strikes by workers in enterprises the shutdown of which will cause damage to health, the provisioning of the population, and the economy of the country or national security. With this broad range of prohibitions, whose application is so ambiguous, the above-mentioned article is in fact a prohibition of the right to strike in almost the entire labor area, in contravention of the principles of union freedom to which we have referred. Thus, for example, the list of enterprises in this category that was published by the Government of Chile in 1982 contains 41 enterprises. [27]

70. Article 12 determines the issues that may be the subject of collective bargaining and excludes such matters as the obligation of employers to pay strike days and the establishment of union funds for giving benefits to workers, financed in whole or in part by employers. However, which matters may or may not be negotiated is not clearly defined in the decree; this has given rise to many discussions about the scope of this provision of Decree No. 2558, and workers have had to resort to the Labor Inspectorate, which has delayed or impeded collective bargaining.

71. Article 52 deals with the declaration of a strike, assuming the failure of collective bargaining, and stipulates that a strike may only be called by the vote of a simple majority of the workers involved in the negotiations. It excludes the possibility of strikes by federations or confederations since, as we have seen, they cannot (pursuant to Articles 4-7) take part in collective bargaining. In this regard, we reiterate what is stated in section a to the effect that such a limitation is unacceptable, since the right to participate in collective bargaining must be broad and consequently the right to strike must also be broad when bargaining fails to the detriment of the interests of workers. The exercise of one right is closely coupled with that of the other.

72. Articles 58-62 grant employers authority to hire the necessary personnel to replace or make up for the workers on strike. Thus it provides that after 60 days of strike any worker is considered to have voluntarily renounced his job or employment.

73. Finally, Article 65 deals with strikes or lockouts, which, because of their circumstances, can damage health, the provisioning of the population, etc. In these cases, the President can order resumption of work for a period of 90 days. But, in addition, it should be pointed out that, pursuant to Article 86 of Decree No. 2758, the Law on State Security (No. 12927) is amended by increasing the cases or situations in which the Executive can order resumption of work, with the participation or intervention of the military authorities, and all negotiation is immediately suspended and the strikers must return to work on the same terms as before the strike occurred. There is no need to mention the abuses and arbitrary acts that such a provision may give rise to.

h. New Legislation Subsequent to the Labor Plan

74. In late 1979 and early 1980 the Government of Chile issued a number of decrees that have modified in part the legislation provided for in the Decrees of the Labor Plan enacted in 1979, in some cases, or have provided other types of measures. To sum up, the decrees of this stage are the following:

75. Decree No. 2950 of November 15, 1979, which excludes further sectors of workers from the possibility of collectively negotiating their conditions for labor contracts or employment contracts; this increased the number already excluded by Decree No. 2758 of June 1979. In contrast, the Decree improved the conditions of employers with respect to labor demands or requests (Article 1) and voided the legal presumption of acceptance of a labor proposal if there was no specific reply to it by an employer within a period of 10 days.

76. Decree No. 3355 of May 1, 1980, also amending provisions of Decrees No. 2756 and 2758 on union organization and collective bargaining, restricted them even more (Articles 2 and 3).

77. Decree No. 3410 of May 28, 1980 authorized the President of the Republic to reorganize the public administration without any rule on privilege or tenure and therefore left the employees without any right to complain against possible dismissals. In addition, the decree is retroactive, which, although obvious, should be emphasized since it creates a serious element of legal instability in the public service sector. [28]

i. The 1980 Constitution

78. Article 19 (15) of the 1980 Constitution establishes the right to associate “without prior authorization”.

79. Paragraph 16, for its part, stipulates the following with respect to labor union rights:

Every person has the right to free undertaking and free selection of his work, with a just compensation.

Any discrimination, which is not based on personal competence or fitness, is prohibited, without prejudice that the law may require Chilean citizenship or age limits in certain cases.

No type of work can be prohibited except in those cases where it is contrary to morals, or public security and health, or where it should so be required by the national interest as declared by the law. No law or provision of the public authority may demand affiliation to any organization or entity whatsoever, as a requisite for undertaking certain activity or work, nor can it demand that any such affiliation be discontinued as a condition for performing such activities or keeping such work. The law shall determine which professions require a title or university degree and the conditions to be met in order to engage in them.

Workmen have the right to collective bargaining with the company, for which they work, except in those cases where the law should expressly prohibit negotiations. The law shall establish the procedures for collective bargaining and the appropriate procedures for reaching a just and peaceful solution. The law shall provide for the instances in which collective bargaining is to be submitted to mandatory arbitration; this arbitration should be entrusted to special tribunals of experts, the organization and authority of which shall be established by the law.

Neither State nor municipal employees may declare a strike. Nor may strikes be declared by persons working for corporations or enterprises, regardless of the nature, objectives or functions thereof, which provide public services and the paralization of which might harm the health, the economy of the country, the supplies to the population or the national security. The law shall establish the procedures to determine the corporations or enterprises whose workers will be covered by the prohibition set forth in this paragraph.

j. Abolition of the Labor Courts

80. No sooner had the 1980 Constitution entered into force than the Government Junta, by Decree Law No. 3643, abolished the labor courts and labor jurisdiction was assigned to civil courts with effect from May 1, 1981.

81. In the view of the Commission, this measure deprived the workers of the special protection afforded them by a special proceeding for rapidly dealing with the conflicts that arise daily in employment matters. The abolition of those courts has meant that workers will now have to wait their turn in the civil courts that deal with all types of cases in order to demand the payment of compensation owed them or the recognition of the rights they claim, which can entail anxious delays for those who normally obtain their only income precisely from their employment. Furthermore, the Commission fails to understand how certain legal principles of labor laws that are deeply rooted in Chile, such as the recognition of the effective inequality between the parties or the obligation of the State to protect workers, are going to be safeguarded by courts whose actions are determined by opposing principles, such the equality of the parties and full freedom of entering into contracts.

k. Law No. 18,018 of 1981

82. In August 1981 the Government of Chile adopted other measures on the right to organize and labor union freedom in that country, designed to complete and “modernize” the provisions of the “Labor Plan”.

83. Among those measures Law No. 18,018 of August 14, 1981 warrants special mention. It amends many of the provisions of Chilean labor law, some prior to 1973, and amends other provisions of Decree No. 2,200 of 1978 on employment contracts. [29]

84. The principal provisions of this law are summarized below:

85. It completely repeals Law No. 16445 of April 8, 1966 on Rules for the Termination of Labor Contracts, which provided that the employer could not terminate an employment contract “except on justified grounds” (Art. 1). Under this Decree a worker may be dismissed merely on the grounds of “the needs of the enterprise”.

86. It stipulates that temporary contracts may be renewed only once, and repeals Decree Law 2200, which had extended the life of this type of contract from six months to two years.

87. Labor contracts are deemed to have been entered into with the enterprise as a legal person and not with its owners or proprietors, regardless of the legal form of the enterprise. This is also considered positive since it contributes to stability in employment, assuming that the proprietor or owner changes and the worker is thus left to the vagaries of the new situation, as occurred with Decree No. 2,200.

88. It distinguishes between old and new workers as regards indemnities: new workers can agree on these indemnities with the owners either individually or collectively except that, if an agreement is not reached, the enterprise will have to pay an indemnity of one month for each year of service up to a maximum of five months, which is a new limit, not provided for in earlier years and which is undoubtedly detrimental to workers since the limit is short. In this regard it should be noted that, given the evident inferior position of workers, they might be forced to “accept” the indemnity proposed by the enterprises.

89. With respect to old employers (those hired before August 14, 1981) Law No. 18,018 grants them an indemnity of one month for each year of service without limit and an indemnity that exceeds five months can be negotiated. According to the Government authorities, the purpose is to replace a future and uncertain benefit by an immediate and certain benefit, which would favor workers.

90. With respect to collective dismissals and suspension of operations there is a clear retreat. Before Law No. 18,018, businessmen had to obtain authorization from the Ministries of Labor and of Economic Affairs to dismiss more than ten wage earners in one month. If they acted without that authorization, the employers were liable to fines and the workers had the right to a double indemnity. This authorization from the two Ministries is no longer required so that the workers are more unprotected and have lost the possibility of collecting a larger indemnity.

91. With respect to the working day, it was eight hours according to the earlier legislation and could be as long as 9 hours and 36 minutes if Saturday was not a working day. Now a normal working day can be as long as 10 hours. This means a decrease in overtime, for which additional payment is received. Thus workers will lose income and employers will have lower costs. Furthermore, an employer is empowered to unilaterally change the time of the start of the workday. In other words, the contract may be changed without the workers being consulted, which contradicts the most elementary principles of law.

92. With respect to wages, the most important change is that the minimum legal wage ($5,186) has been suppressed for persons under 21 years of age and over 65 years of age. These workers, who have little bargaining power, must now “freely” negotiate on their wages with their employers.

93.Finally, this law limits annual holidays and suppresses rights acquired under the legislation in force before 1973. In addition, certain sectors of workers lose the extra holiday of 25 days in mining areas.

1. Subsequent Legislation

94. In December 1982, important labor laws were enacted. Thus, Law No. 8,196 of December 26, 1982 amended Decree Law No. 2,756 in part and in Article 36 stipulated that “labor unions cannot contract or directly or indirectly receive contributions, donations, loans or in general any other kind of financing from the enterprises to which their members belong.”

95. Three days later, on December 29, 1982, Law No. 18,198 was enacted. In practice it meant freezing the wages of workers not subject to collective bargaining, i.e., the majority of Chilean workers. On March 29, 1984 the transitory articles of the above-mentioned Law 18,198 were repealed and the law was amended to the effect that “in collective bargaining procedures that were begun prior to the entry into force of this law and are pending of the date of its entry into force, the permanent rules established in Articles 49 and 60 of Decree Law No. 2758 of 1979 shall apply” and that whenever “the process of collective bargaining is subject to arbitration procedure, the employer shall be entitled to make a new offer before the arbitration tribunal, within 10 days following the entry into force of this Law, and as a result the period referred to in the fourth subparagraph of Article 42 of Decree Law No. 2758 of 1979 shall be suspended for a like period.” This would mean that the bargaining “floor” will be the equivalent of the wages and allowances workers have at the time they begin their bargaining and not necessarily the “floor” at December 31, 1982, as was imposed by Law No. 18,198. [30]

96. In 1984 Law No. 18.372, amending Decree Law No. 2.200 on employment contracts, was enacted.

97. This law corrected some injustices that affected workers, for example it prohibited individual contracts from modifying collective contracts to the detriment of workers. Earlier, it was the practice of employers to negotiate individually with workers, which thus weakened collective bargaining.

98. Law No. 18,372 also abolished “the operating needs of the enterprise” as a ground for dismissal without compensation. This ground had been frequently invoked to dismiss workers and leave them completely defenseless. In addition, the law prohibits the negotiation of the payment of indemnity for years of service and instead stipulates an indemnity of one month for each year of service up to a maximum of five.

99. Furthermore, that law stipulates that the ordinary working week of 48 hours cannot be worked in less than five days and thus amends Decree Law No. 2,200, which permitted a minimum of four days, so that there could be daily shifts of up to 12 hours without payment of overtime. In addition, Law No. 18,372 declares that teachers who have worked at least six months, up to December, must be paid salaries for the months of January and February and thus ended the practice in some private schools of dismissing teachers in December and rehiring them in March at the beginning of the school year.

100. The Commission has no doubt that Law No. 18,372 represents an advance relative to the earlier conditions of the employment contract, such as those contained in Decree Law No. 2,200.

101. However, in the opinion of the Commission, the Chilean labor legislation enacted by the Military Government still contains serious gaps and limitations on the rights of workers. Thus, for example, appropriate legislation has not been enacted to eliminate or limit collective dismissals; nor has collective bargaining by branch of activity been authorized, at least not in those sectors in which negotiation by enterprise is virtually impossible, as in commercial and agricultural sectors.

102. It should also be noted that throughout this period workers have had virtually no participation in the drafting of labor laws.

103. Nevertheless, in the opinion of the Commission, the restrictions on labor and labor union rights in the period covered by this report, in addition to the legislative measures mentioned, stem from the general situation in Chile, which has been expressed in repeated violations of the human rights of union officials, in constant states of emergency that have deprived workers of the exercise of their freedoms and rights, and from the economic conditions that have resulted especially in a high level of unemployment, all of which has, as will be seen below, affected the Chilean labor movement.


a. Obstacles to Labor Union Organization and Freedom

104. A student of the state of labor unions in Chile has written that in September 1973 wage earners in Chile accounted for almost 80 percent of the active population and that more than half of that percentage consisted of manual workers employed in the agricultural, mining, industrial, construction, energy and transportation sectors. Of those wage earners, 45 percent were organized in about 10,000 labor unions with more than 1,100,000 members. Furthermore, government or state employees--the organization of who had been legalized in 1971--numbered 300,000. [31]

105. That situation was to change radically in a period of ten years. According to the figures of the Labor Directorate, at the end of 1983 there were 4,401 labor unions in Chile with a membership of 320,903, each union having an average of 73 members. The percentage of members represented only 8.7 percent of the labor force and 10.2 percent of those employed. [32]

106. In the subsequent years the Chilean Labor Union Movement was to be affected not only by the labor legislation that was being enacted by the military government but also by the economic conditions of the country, especially the sharp increase in the unemployment rate and the general situation of the exercise of human rights.

107. As was seen earlier in this chapter, one of the first measures of the Government was to repeal the legal personality of CUT. [33] In addition, as mentioned earlier, under Decree No. 198 of December 10, 1973, various measures limiting trade union organization and freedom were adopted, [34] and later, with the Labor Plan, as it was formulated by Decree Law No. 2756 of June 29, 1979, various limitations were placed on the establishment and operation of labor unions, federations and confederations, and confederations were prohibited from participating in collective bargaining on employment conditions and in collective employment agreements and, in general, in party-political activities. [35]

108. In addition to such legislative limitations, in analyzing the Chilean labor union movement the considerable unemployment that has occurred, especially in recent years in Chile, cannot be disregarded. This, and the limitations on collective bargaining, which stem from the notion that labor is a good subject to market conditions, and that the State should not play an active role in the protection of workers, has led to the weakening of the labor union movement.

109. Unemployment has increased in recent years to levels that are unprecedented in the history of Chile. Thus, in the period August-October 1984, according to the National Statistical Institute, the employment situation in the country was as follows.


(Thousands of persons and percentages)

Labor Force
Open Unemployment Rate
Real Unemployment Rate

110. A serious limitation on the labor union movement that is also to be noted is the state of human rights in Chile. If there has been any sector in that country which has been the subject of permanent harassment and persecution, it has been the labor union sector. After the military coup, many trade union officials, especially those who were active members of political parties and supported the Government that was overthrown, were executed, disappeared, died while in custody, or were forced to go into exile.

111. Thus, among the labor union officials that are missing, mention may be made of the following; Bernardo Araya Zuleta, former Official of CUT; José Baeza Cruces, former member of the CUT National Youth Council; Abel Barria A. Pedro, CUT Official, Executive Committee for Youth, Valdivia; Lincoyan Barrios Cataldo, Official of the National Association of Municipal Employees; Jose Corvalan Valencia, former President of the National Public Health Union of the San Juan de Dios Hospital; Victor Diaz Lopez, former CUT Official; Lenin Diaz Silva, labor union official of La Exotica Mines; Uldarico Donaire Cortez, former official of the Union of Workers of the Horizonte Printing Plant; Jaime Donato Avendaño, leader of the Electrical Workers Union; Humberto Fuentes Rodriguez, official of the Federation of Construction Workers; Mario Fuica Vega, former member of the Union of Municipal Workers of Rengca; Guillermo Galvez Rivadineira, Secretary of the Union of Printing Workers, Quisantu; Juan Gianilli Company, National Leader of SUTE; Fernando Lara Rojas, national leader of textile employees; Luis Lazo Santander, former Leader of the Federation of Electrical Employees; Patricio Lopez, Supervisor of the Federation of Textile Workers, Santiago; Nicolas Lopez Suarez, former National Leader of the CUT; Victor Nacaya Molina, Secretary of the Oveja Tome Union of Textile Workers; Guillermo Martínez Quijón, Leader of the Printing Workers Union; Sario Miranda Godoy, Member of the Federation of Metal Processing Workers; Raul Montoya Vilches, Leader of the Construction Workers Federation; Juan Moraga Garces, Member of the Construction Workers Federation; Fernando Navarro Allende, Leader of the Railway Workers Union; Miguel Nazar Quiroz, CUT Official; Rodolfo Nuñez Benavides, Executive Secretary of CEPCH; Juan Orellana Catalan, former Official of the Ranquil Confederation; Jose Palma Muñoz, former President of the ENDESA employees union; Raynalda Pereira Plaza, Trade Union Official; Waldo Pizarro Molino, Leader of the Textile Workers; Exequiel Ponce Vivencio, former Secretary General of the Federation of Port Workers; Armando Protilla Portilla, Leader of the Textile Workers; Luis Becabarran Gonzalez, former Leader of the Technical University of the State; Manuel Becabarran Rojas, Leader of the Printing Workers; Anibel Riquelme Pinc, former President of the Federation of Gas, Light and Sanitation Workers, Santiago; Jose Sagredo Pacheco, Leader of the Federation of Construction Workers; Jorge Salgado Salinas, Leader of the Campesinos Union; Jose Santos Guerra, Secretary of the Printing Workers Union; Pedro Silva Bustos, former Vice President of the Association of Municipal Employees; Jorge Solovera Gallardo, Member of the Federation of Mineral Processing Workers; Rolando Vazquez, CUT Official; Luis Vega Ramirez, Vice President of the Ranquil Confederation; Julio Verga Vega, Leader of the Municipal Workers Union; Hector Veliz Ramirez, Delegate of the Municipal Workers to the CUT; Carlos Viscarra Cofré, Leader of the FIAT Industrial Union, Santiago; Jose Weibel Navarrete, former leader of the Employees of the San José Hospital, Santiago; and Mario Zamorano Donoso, former Leader of the Federation of Leather Workers. [37]

112. In more recent years repression against labor union leaders has taken the form especially of expulsion from the country, [38] arrest [39] and forced relocation in distant and inhospitable places, [40] without counting the death of some of them, still not clarified, such as that of the President of the National Association of State Employees, Tucapel Jimenez, and of the leader of the Teachers Union, Manuel Guerrero, to which the Commission referred in the chapter on The Right to Life in this report.

113. In that context, the labor union movement has faced serious obstacles in expressing itself institutionally and in exercising its rights, especially the right to assembly and the right to strike.

114. With respect to the right to assembly, the various reports the ILO Committee on Labor Union Freedom, of the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and even of the IACHR have dealt successively with many cases in which the right to assembly of workers in Chile has been violated. Suffice it to cite in this regard the right “to assemble peacefully without prior authorization”, recognized by both the 1925 and the 1980 constitutions [41], which it has not been possible for workers to exercise on the 1st of May on the occasion of International Labor Day during the past 12 years. [42]

115. With respect to the right to strike, the legal, economic and political limitations noted above have meant that throughout this period there have been very few strikes and they have been of little importance. In the agricultural sector, where wage earners can lose all their privileges, including their home, there has not been a single strike. In the urban sector, there was an average of 31 strikes annually in the two-year period of 1979-81. As a benchmark, during the period of 1965-1967 there was an average of 1,003 strikes annually. Furthermore, in the strikes in the two-year period 1979-1981, the increases obtained over and above the counter-offers of the employers were minimal or non-existent. This shows the ineffectiveness in practice of the right to strike for workers. But during the period 1981-1985 the situation has been much worse; because of the crisis and high unemployment, strikes have been virtually non-existent

b. Workers Federations and Confederations

116. Despite the limitations noted, workers federations and even confederations have arisen in Chile. Despite the official repression and legislative prohibitions that can be adopted against them, they have survived thanks to the courage of their leaders and the help of international solidarity.

117. It is a fact that the Labor Plan, as studied, institutionalized a disassociation between the leaders of the union federations and confederations and their membership by denying these leaders any role in collective bargaining; but the political-ideological struggle that has been emerging in Chile has meant that the ideological trends into which the international labor union movement is divided have found expression and had repercussions in Chile.

118. A few years after the military coup five large trade union groups were formed, and at present are: the Central Democrática de Trabajadores, earlier known as The Group of Ten, and then as the Union Democrática de Trabajadores, which at the international level is connected with the Inter-American Regional Organization of Labor (ORIT) and the International Confederation of Free Trade Union Organizations (CIOLS); the Coordinadora Nacional Sindical (CNS), which, although it is not formally affiliated to any international organization, maintains close links with the CIOLS and some of them leaders with the World Trade Union Federation (FSM); the Frente Unido de Trabajadores (FUT), which is affiliated to the World Confederation of Workers (CNT) and the Central Latino Americana de Trabajadores (CLAT); in addition, the Confederación de Empleados Particulares de Chile (CEPCH) and the Confederación de Trabajadores del Cobre, are the only ones that have remained independent of political parties and the international ideological struggle.

119. On June 3. 1983, the five above-mentioned associations established the Comando Nacional de Trabajadores and, in the press release on its establishment, stated that their objective was the reestablishment “of democracy and the free exercise of labor union and civic rights” through “the termination of the state of emergency”; the repeal of transitory article 24 of the Constitution of 1980; full information concerning the preparation of legislation; return of exiles; the repeal of measures and provisions concerning censorship of the media; the preparation of a short-term emergency plan for ending unemployment; the restoration of all the labor and social security legislation in force in 1973; the adjustment of wages and salaries for all workers in the public and private sector; ... and the right of the opposition to use radio and television networks and to insert paid announcements the press.” [43] Later, the “Comando Nacional de Trabajadores” adhered to the National Agreement for the Transition to Full Democracy. [44]


120. From what has already been stated in this chapter, it may be concluded that the legislation adopted by the Government of Chile is not consistent with the principles generally recognized in international law as being inherent in labor union freedom, stipulated in world and inter-American instruments, ratified or approved by Chile, that is: the right of every individual to establish labor unions for the purpose of promoting and protecting his economic and social rights; the right of labor unions to operate without impediments and without other limitations than those prescribed by law and necessary in a democratic society; the right to collective bargaining of employment contracts and the right of workers to strike in defense of their occupational interests.

121. Throughout this lengthy period, workers have had virtually no part in the preparation of labor laws.

122. In the opinion of the Commission, serious “gaps” and limitations on the rights of workers still persist in the labor legislation enacted by the military government. Thus, for example, appropriate legislation has not yet been adopted for the purpose of eliminating or limiting collective dismissals; collective bargaining by branch or activity and throughout the labor union spectrum has not been authorized for the purpose of asserting this basic right, at least not in the sectors in which bargaining on an enterprise basis is virtually impossible, for example, in commerce and agriculture.

123. The Commission believes that, within this general framework limiting labor union freedom, Law No 18,372 is an example of progress in this field compared with earlier laws of the military government concerning employment contracts such as Decree Law No. 2200.

124. The successive amendments to Chilean labor legislation since 1973, which have changed in whole or in part that in effect prior to that year and the law enacted by the present government, constitute an index of marked insecurity in the exercise of labor union freedom and a framework of confusion about the application and scope of some laws with respect to others. Chilean labor legislation clearly shows many inconsistencies and tacit derogations that make possible, in the shadow of an apparent legality, the execution of measures contrary to the right of association and labor union freedom, to the consequent detriment of the working classes of the country.

125. The behavior of the Government of Chile, even after the “Labor Plan”, is marked by the enactment of legislation apparently favorable to labor union freedom, although in essence it is restrictive because of the persistence of a policy of violations of the right of association, since the organization of labor unions and the functions and powers of labor union federations and confederations are limited.

126. The abolition of the labor courts has also had an adverse effect on workers, since they were replaced by the ordinary courts, which rely on presuppositions such as equality of the parties and freedom of contract, which cannot in justice be applicable to labor relations.

127. During these 12 years the Chilean labor union movement has faced serious obstacles, which derive not only from the legislation enacted by the government, but also from the economic and political situation prevailing in the country. These obstacles include a high rate of unemployment, serious violations of the human rights of trade union officials, many of whom have disappeared, have been expelled from the country, arrested or sent into enforced residence, and difficulties in exercising the right to assembly and strike.

128. Nevertheless, it should be emphasized that a labor union movement has been reestablished in Chile--as expressed especially through the five major workers federations and confederations--which, despite the existing obstacles and limitations and the ideological differences between them, have been able to reach agreements to defend the rights of workers and to struggle to re-establish democracy in Chile.




[1] The Ninth International American Conference (Resolution XXIV) adopted the International American Charter. Chile voted in favor.

[2] Ratified by Chile and in the Declaration of Principles attached to that Constitution, approved in Philadelphia (1944) and on the basis of which the above-mentioned agreements have been developed. Indeed, Article I (b) of the Declaration reaffirms as a fundamental principle on which the Organization is based “freedom of expression and association” and Article III (e), which recognizes the solemn obligation of the International Labor Organization to promote programs for improving working conditions in all the nations of the world, stipulates inter alia, that of “achieving effective recognition of the right to collective bagaining”.

[3] The Situation of Trade Unions in Chile - Report of the Investigating Commission on Freedom of Association, ILO, Geneva, 1975, pp. 32 and 33.

[4] For example, law No. 16,625 of April 29, 1967, entitled labor Organization of Campesinos, and Decree with Force of Law No. 313 on Copper Workers of May 15, 1956, as amended in part by law 16,425 of January 25, 1966.

[5] This paragraph was added by Law No. 16,840 of May 24, 1968 (Article 158).

[6] Similar provisions were embodied in Decree Law 313 of 1956.

[7] A similar limitation was established by Law 12927 of 1958 on State Security.

[8] Official Gazette of September 24, 1973.

[9] Idem, November 20, 1973.

[10] Official Gazette of October 4, 1973.

[11] Law No. 16,455 of April 6, 1966, Official Gazette of the same date.

[12] See the IACHR Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Chile. Results of the in loco Observation, July-August 1974, where a more specific account of this decree appears - OEA/Ser.L/V/II.34, doc.21, p. 72.

[13] Official Gazette of October 9, 1974.

[14] Official Gazette of October 24, 1975.

[15] Official Gazette of September 29, 1973.

[16] Official Gazette of December 29.

[17] ILO, Report of the Commission, op. cit. p. 51.

[18] OEA/Ser.L/V/II.37, doc.19, corr. I of June 28, 1976, op. cit. p. 159 et seq.

[19] Note of January 8, 1976, No. 384.

[20] United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Study on the State o f Human Rights in Chile, Doc. E/CN-4/1310, op. cit. p. 67. Similar information appeared in El Mercurio of November 22, 1978.

[21] La Tercera, November 12, 1978.

[22] Report of the Special Rapporteur Charged with the Study of Human Rights in Chile, A/34/583, p. 125.

[23] OEA/Ser.L/V/II.47, doc.13, rev. 1, p. 16, dated June 29, 1978.

[24] El Mercurio of Santiago, October 21, 1978.

[25] El Mercurio of Santiago, July 2, 1979.

[26] See Case no. 1,028 before the ILO Committee on Trade Union Freedom Vol. LXIV, 1981, No. 3, p. 67 et seq. Also see Case 823, Vol. LXIII, 1980, No. 2, p. 74.

[27] See the Report of the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, A/38/385, p. 140.

[28] According to some labor union leaders, the above-mentioned decree was aimed at specified persons including Daniel Lillo, a union leader dismissed pursuant to the powers of the Executive under Decree 2758 and Decree 2555, which amended Act No. 3 of 1973 on labor rights (with respect to Mr. Lillo see Case No. 823 before the ILO Committee, Vol. LXIII, 1980, No. 2, p. 75).

[29] Also, in the labor area, in 1981 Law No. 18,011 of July 1, 1981 was enacted and was applicable to stevedores or seamen; Law 18.032 of September 25 is relating to port or pier workers.

[30] Report of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Protection of Human Rights in Chile. A/38/385 of October 17, 1983.

[31] Gonzalo Falabella. Les Syndicats sous un régime autoritaire: Le cas du Chili. Problemes d'Amerique Latine. No. 4.599-.4.6-00 of December 31, 1980. La Documentation FranVaise. Paris.

[32] Cited by Jaime Ruiz-Tagle P., “Problemas y Desafíos del Sindicalismo Chileno”. Mensaje, No. 338, May 1985.

[33] Decree Law No. 12 of September 17, 1973, published in the Official Gazette on September 24, 1973.

[34] See paragraph 36 of this chapter.

[35] See lettered paragraph f and item I of section B of this chapter.

[36] These acronyms are those of the Programa de Empleo Minimo (PEM) and the Plan Ocupacional para Jefes de Hogar (POJH), which are means of absorbing unemployment; the programs are administered by the municipalities. The workers covered by these programs do not enjoy any labor rights and the wages they receive are extremely low.

[37] ILO., Committee on Trade Union Freedom, Bulletin, Vol. LXIII, 1980, Series B, No. 2 pp. 83 et seq.

[38] Like those of Manuel Bustos, Juan M. Sepúlveda, and Hector Cuevas in 1982.

[39] Important Chilean labor leaders such as Manuel Bustos, Alamiro Guzman, Rodolfo Seguel, Juan Antinao, Rigoberto Lillo, Raul Montecinos, Lucia Morales and Jose Ruiz di Giorgio, have been arrested--some on more than one occasion--in the past three years.

[40] Among labor union leaders sent into enforced residence in past years, mention may be made of the following: Carlos Araya, Humberto Arcos, Luis Enrique Avendaño Atenas, Enrique Humberto Bucherenick, Segundo Cancino Fernandez, Hernan Fenando Casteñeda, Sergio Alberto Dastre, Moises Labraña, Victor Meneses, Carlos Opazo, Valentin Osorno, Luis Peña, Pablo Poblete, Jorge Rodriguez, Luis Silva, Luis Suarez Zegara, Ariel Urrutia and Ernesto Vásquez.

[41] Article 10 (4) of the 1925 Constitution and Article 9 (13) of the 1980 Constitution.

[42] It should also be pointed out that, in the first half of 1982 alone, as stated in the IACRR Report 1981-1982: “The Commission has learned that among the meetings prohibited during the first half of 1982 were the ceremony called by the Frente Unitario de Trabajadores (United Workers Front) on March 12 to pay tribute to Tucapel Jiménez, the assassinated union leader; the Annual Assembly of the Union Democrática de Trabajadores, which was to be held in March in Punta de Tralca; a meeting of the Women's Department of the National Trade Union Coordination, which was broken up by the state forces on April 1; several university meetings were suspended; the celebrations for May Day (May 1) were prohibited”. IACHR Annual Report p. 114.

[43] Chilean Commission on Human Rights, Report for July 1983, p. 113.

[44] The text of said National Agreement may be seen in Section E, Chapter XII.



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