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10k public workers protest for better pay in Chile

Some 10,000 public sector workers in Chile have taken to the streets in the capital to protest over stalled discussions on better wages.

The protest march was held in the capital Santiago on Wednesday as a part of a two-day strike called after the government suspended a meeting to resume negotiation talks on pay increases.

Public sector employees have demanded an eight-percent pay rise for next year.

The protest march coincided with a demonstration by the National Association of municipal Workers (Asemuch), whose members are currently on a two-week strike to demand equal pay increases as other public sector workers.

Meanwhile, public sector leaders have said their protests would not interfere with the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled on November 17.

According to polls, former president Michelle Bachelet is leading ahead of Evelyn Matthei, the candidate for the right-wing incumbent coalition.

Matthei has received backing from the current President Sebastian Pinera, who is not standing for re-election as he is barred by the country’s constitution from running for a second consecutive term.

Bachelet has pledged to address the deep economic inequality in the country and to increase corporate taxes to help fund an education reform.

Chile is ranked as the country which has the highest inequality among the 34 member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

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