Walmart Chile workers’ union votes to go on strike for higher pay

SANTIAGO – The union representing workers at Lider, Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s main supermarket chain in Chile, have voted to go on strike for higher pay.

“We are awaiting the final result from the work directorate, but we can say that our union approves the strike with 9,850 votes, or 63.4 percent of the total,” the union announced Friday on its Facebook site.

Walmart Chile, the local unit of U.S. retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc, with 380 stores in the country, did not comment on the announcement immediately.

Either the union or the company may now request government-mediated talks that would last five days to try to reach an agreement and avert the strike.

The union encompasses 16,500 workers, one of the South American country’s largest unions. Some workers have been demonstrating outside stores across the country in recent months as they have pushed their demands for better pay.