Pensions: Chile’s debt to workers

Pensions: Chile’s debt to workers
Pensions: Chile’s debt to workers

This May 1, workers take to the streets again, with more unity, and the same strength as always to make decent work a reality.

There is no doubt that this Government has made progress in labor matters: a historic increase in the minimum wage was achieved, which in two months will reach $500 thousand pesos (about $520); the progressive reduction of the working day to 40 hours; the enactment of the Karin Law, which addresses workplace and sexual harassment and violence at work; in addition to the ratification of Convention 190 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), which recognizes the right to a work environment free of violence and harassment.

It is worth remembering what has been achieved when, at times, everything is colored by the obstructionism of some, guided by petty but powerful interests. When we hear the UDI deputy, Guillermo Ramírez, say that the distribution mechanism is to “incorporate cancer” into the pension system, we show that his objective is to stop the changes, impose fear and lie to citizens about the true spirit of the Pension Reform. As a proposal, little. His rejection does not consider alternatives, while the main complaint of citizens to politicians is that we are not able to agree to contribute to people’s lives.

We agree with President Boric when he points out that this is not nonsense but urgency. Today what families need are certainties, to be able to give them we must be able to bring this reform to fruition, and address the only thing that is clear: the need for a better quality of life for people, and that is achieved, in part, improving pensions.

For forty years they have forced Chileans to contribute to a system that has turned out to be a scam: according to the Superintendency of Pensions, the new pensioners as of March 2024 do not receive 100 thousand pesos in retirement, when we were promised to retire with 100% of our salary. 96% of women who retired in the last year have a pension less than the minimum wage, half of them receive a self-financed pension of 40 thousand pesos. We need a mixed system, with social security that puts an end to this reality that can no longer resist.

In this context, the mobilizing and organized force of the workers seems not only necessary but urgent. Those who live firsthand the fear of retiring due to the uncertainty of not knowing if they will make ends meet. Those who live in fear of seeing their fathers, mothers, relatives and loved ones grow old, without being compensated with dignity for all their years of work. And it is with them, together with the unions, with whom we will have to carry out this and other reforms, such as branch and multilevel negotiation, commitments of President Gabriel Boric, to influence their working and living conditions in a more balanced way. .

Let’s be clear; Without social security, pensions will not increase for another 30 years. The opposition cannot afford to continue fueling this discontent, rejecting again and again a Pension Reform that is fair, balanced and seeks to increase pensions for current and future workers.

We are called to build a country where it is worth getting up to work every day, because it dignifies, because this is how we contribute to Chile and because it allows us to build our own history, which, together with others, builds the history of the Homeland that we long for.

By the way, in this construction the large business community plays a fundamental role, which is called to collaborate, in order to advance the desires for justice and social equality, which is the objective of this reform. The application of 40 working hours, without fine print, raising salaries, as workers deserve, and moving forward together so that national development and the fruits of economic growth are for everyone. If we want to avoid a crisis, we can never again sweep the issues that matter to people under the rug.

This May 1st, the workers of Chile go out to march for decent work, with fair remuneration, conditions and remuneration. Let’s take charge today to live better tomorrow, everyone fits at this table.

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