About 200 salmon processors have been shut down after Salmones Antarctica decided to stop all processing operations at its Puerto Chacabuco site in Region XI, or Aysén, in Chile. According to a local news agency the move comes two months after the Japanese-owned company laid off some 300 other workers, also in Aysén and is a result of the ongoing problems in Chile’s once-booming farmed salmon industry.
Local politicians and labour organisations in the country strictly criticized the move. The Region XI-based Truth and Justice Union insists the company has not been sufficiently transparent, while regional head of the Christian Democratic (DC) party, Iván Gutiérrez Loyola, says the company has betrayed not only its workers, but the Aysén Region as a whole. The DC representative said that the move is simply not the way things should be done.
According to him before taking the decision the company should have informed the authorities, so we could help find jobs for the approximately 500 workers affected. Gutiérrez said that the companies come to the region, exploit the regional resources, and over the years have gotten rich. He added that they’ve enjoyed the full confidence and collaboration of local authorities. Now, at the first sign of a problem, they up and go, leaving an important number of workers just hanging.