Chile: Walmart workers protest, demand pay hike

Nearly 17,000 workers at the U.S. retail giant Walmart’s stores in South American country of Chile, stayed off from work on Wednesday, demanding better salaries.

The retail brand has around 400 stores in Chile, a long and narrow country, stretching along South America’s western edge.

The strike has affected 100 retail stores, spread across the country.

“We have not reached an agreement. We did make some progress. There were talks held with the company, but they did not offer enough to seal a deal,” said Juan Moreno, president of Inter-Company Union (SIL).

The Union is demanding at least 4% increase in the salaries. But the Walmart is far offering a raise of 3%.

In a statement, the U.S. retail giant on Wednesday evening, said it has offered a satisfactory contract that addresses the demands of the union. The statement, however, did not provide any specific details.

In line with its containment policy in Central and Latin America, the U.S. has a keen interest in the political and economic affairs of Chile for decades.

The 1973 military coup in Chile was sparked and managed by former President Richard Nixon using the CIA covert operation, resulting in overthrowing of democratically elected Chilean President Salvador Allende.

The military dictator Augusto Pinochet backed by the CIA and the U.S. administration led the coup in Sept 1973. He remained in power till 1981.

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