GLJ-ILRF Statement on Gabriel Boric’s Presidential Victory in Chile
“In what can only be seen as another historic victory for working people, youth, women and migrants in Chile, Gabriel Boric, a former leader of the student movement and face of a new prorgressive coalition won a decisive election on December 19. For years Chile has been going through a process of social, cultural and political transformation away from the Neoliberal model imposed by the Pinochet dictatorship, which generated one of the most unequal societies in the world. Chileans have been confronting and rising up against this system with mass mobilizations by the student, pensioneer and feminist movements. The massive protests of 2019 culminated in an agreement to hold elections for a Constitutional Convention. The convention was not only democratically elected for the first time in Chilean history, but it was also the first of its kind anywhere in the world composed of 50% women. The writing of the new constitution is mandated to conclude in 2022 with a referendum.
Gabriel Boric’s victory thus presents significant reassurance that the constitutional process will continue unimpeded, which entails a high probability that labor rights will be enshrined in the magna carta. Furthermore, it creates enormous and unparalleled opportunities for organizing and power-building for social movements and labor unions in the short to mid-term. Combined, the constitutional process and the pro-labor policies of the Boric administration have the potential to create an environment that is extraordinarily conducive for the development of transformative organizing projects. It is fair to say there has never been a time in which Chilean workers had a better chance to drastically change their working conditions for years to come.
Strengthening organizations on the ground that are at the forefront of this struggle and supporting the constitutional process continues to be a priority for GLJ-ILRF, as we believe it is only through organized people power that long-standing and deep labor justice can be won and sustained. We are proud, committed and excited to collaborate with our partners in Chile as they continue their hard and painstaking efforts of transitioning away from neoliberalism into a rights-based society of justice and dignity for working people.
Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ – ILRF) is a newly merged organization bringing strategic capacity to cross-sectoral work on global value chains and labor migration corridors. GLJ-ILRF holds global corporations accountable for labor rights violations in their supply chains, advances policies and laws that protect decent work and just migration, and strengthens freedom of association, new forms of bargaining, and worker organizations.