Wednesday, September 2, 2015

¡Mira: La etiqueta de la unión!

President Michelle Bachelet wants the richest country in Latin America to be more like its failed neighbors. That is, according to the PanAm Post's Hana Fischer, who says she's into the future of Chile (Uruguay) right now;
Chile’s history is not much different from that of Uruguay. We had the same misguided policies during an era of prevailing populism: from the 1930s to 1950s, both countries applied foreign-exchange controls with a multiple-rate system and an import-substitution model.

But the Uruguayan government went further, enacting mandatory collective bargaining for all sectors. The move disrupted the country’s social harmony, increasing the power of unions and dooming companies to financial disaster.

The governments of Uruguay and Chile claimed to be “defending the working class” with their interventionist policies, but it was workers who paid the price for those policies with their jobs. This then led to social unrest and violent clashes in these countries. In short, they became radicalized, agitated, and traumatized societies.
But in Chile, the people got fed up and supported the military coup that ended the Castroite experiment of Salvador Allende in 1973. And prospered...which sticks in the craw of the left wing of Chilean society. As this Bloomberg story from May makes clear;
Chile is one of only four countries in the 34-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, including the U.S., that allows companies to replace striking workers, thanks to labor laws drawn up during the 1980s when dictator Augusto Pinochet was still in power.

Thirty-five years later, President Michelle Bachelet says it’s time for Chile to repay an historic debt to workers and is backing a bill to ban the practice and boost the power of labor unions.
 .... Under the government’s proposal, unions will become the only organizations allowed to conduct collective bargaining, while companies will be barred from automatically extending benefits obtained through a collective contract to non-unionized employees. It also stops companies from replacing striking workers.
Wanna be like Uruguay? Back to Hana Fischer, who has lived it;
When Marxists take power, the unavoidable result is a society of wealthy politicians and their cronies, while the rest of the public becomes poorer and poorer, both financially and in spirit. 
Here's how she sees Chile's labor market 'reforms';
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who supports the bill, said that “the experience in countries with higher levels of union membership and collective bargaining shows that it is possible to arrive at agreements for mutual benefit on a wide range of topics.”

However, the Uruguayan experience refutes Bachelet’s statement. The privileges awarded to unions have resulted in nearly dictatorial power over private companies, and business owners feel they are losing control. Unions have frequently adopted disproportionate and arbitrary measures, in some cases even running afoul of the law.
 Recent polling shows that a majority of Chileans oppose the proposed bill.

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