Chile’s salmon industry has laid off more than 4,000 workers so far this year and the impact is beginning to show in regional unemployment data
Workers applying to withdraw unemployment insurance payments rose to 2,965 between January and May, a 37% increase compared with the same period last year, newspaper El Mercurio said.
The layoffs were triggered by a 20% reduction in production as a result of the outbreak of algal blooms in Chilean farms, SalmonChile president Felipe Sandoval told the newspaper. The rate of layoffs will slow this year after peaking in April, he said.
Some laid off salmon workers have spent a week protesting outside the regional government building in Puerto Montt.
They are requesting a one-off payment of 400,000 pesos from the government, an amount that would be the same fishermen got last month when they carried out protests on Chiloe Island.
The protests lasted for 3 weeks and cut off most of the salmon industry from their export markets, worsening their financial situation that has already by hit by the algal bloom outbreak. (Agencies/undercurrentnews)