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Walmart union in Chile starts strike after failed talks

Walmart union in Chile starts strike after failed talks
Walmart union in Chile starts strike after failed talks

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Walmart Chile’s workers’ union began a strike on Wednesday, days after negotiations on a new collective agreement failed, the union said in a statement.

The National Federation of Walmart Workers had already warned of strike action last week, saying the local branch of retail giant Walmart had “not negotiated since the process began.”

Union leader Karen Gonzalez told Reuters the union had requested a five-day extension on Tuesday, the last day of negotiations, but the company rejected it with a “clear no.”

Walmart Chile said in a statement that a total of 75 supermarkets will remain closed and 82 will be partially open during the strike, and that an “emergency response and communication plan” will be implemented to support customers.

“We are convinced that we have made every effort to avoid the strike,” the company said in a statement. However, the union did not submit a counter-proposal that would have allowed negotiations to continue.

The strike began at midnight and affects over 14,000 workers at Walmart Chile stores, which include the popular Lider supermarket chain.

In a statement on the union’s Facebook page, workers, who are demanding wages be adjusted for inflation and improved benefits, urged customers to shop at local stores instead.

(Reporting by Fabian Andres Cambero; Text by Stéphanie Hamel; Editing by Sarah Morland)