The disastrous labor relationships of the Transantiago

Publicado en Nov 7, 2012 - 3:44pm [2.751 lecturas] .

November 7th, 2012

By Katia Molina. Sociologist Head of Labor Area of  ICAL

One of the objectives associated to the modernization of transport, through the project of “Transantiago” was “the professionalization of the chauffeurs and improvement of their labor conditions” [1] , but to date serious problems arise in the labor relationships that these workers have imposed on them by their counterpart, their employers, the managers of: “Buses Metropolitana”; “Subus”; “Buses Vule”; “Net Bus”; “Alsacia”; “Express”; “STP”; all the  operators of the Transantiago and in spite of it being a great “moneymaker” for all of them.

The lack of labor stability, firing and posterior rehiring for less money, the lowering of incomes, variable wages and the increase in the working hours of the labor day, are some of the problems present in this sector that make the labor relationships in the Transantiago be far off from “decent work” and the professionalization that this public service should tend towards, if it had social responsibility.

The extension of the working day is where many conflicts arise, due to the fact that the legal framework is very general, leaving loops in its application, which are taken advantage of,  by the managers in their benefit and against the workers.

Article 26 of the Code of Labor,  points out that “if in the service of  urban community transport of passengers, the parts agree to comply with shifts of an ordinary week, these will not  exceed  eight working hours, with a minimum period of resting of ten hours between shift and shift. In any event the chauffeurs will not be allowed to drive for more than four continuous hours”.

The verdict of the Labor Direction (507/095, 29.11.2010) as a reply to a group of trade union leaders of the Transantiago, [2] points out that in their working day the chauffeurs cannot drive for more than 4 continuous hours, having to rest for 30 minutes.

Many times this is not complied with. The time in which the chauffeurs are at disposition of the company surpasses the 8 hours.  The working day is in this way intensified. They do not drive, but neither do they rest. We speak here of the time of waiting in the public road, of the time of the itinerary, where the chauffeurs drive the bus to the beginning of the route, “in traffic”, but the sum of all these does not count for part of the working day and is counted by the employer as “passive time” on account of the worker.

To this you must add that the Mutual Insurance System does not recognize stress and the developed depression of the chauffeurs as a result of the intensification of the working day, and in this way, these are not considered as labor illnesses.


These are some of the conditions, in which the Transantiago chauffeurs have had to work, since the implementation of this system in 2007. What is complex in all this, is the role of the state. The same state that in spite of being the one that hands over to the private sector an amount of 209.961.196 thousand pesos [3], approximately XXXXXXX US dollars, for its operation, through the subsidy established by law N° 20.378 does not carry out a more active auditing role to try that workers carry out their functions under conditions of decent work and respect of their rights of security and dignity.

It becomes necessary and urgent to demand the respect of the fundamental rights, such as the right to work, to daily rest, to security at work, to labor stability, to a fair remuneration, to the judicial qualification of dismissal, and to the right to strike of all workers.



[1]  RicardoLagos Escobar, 2006

[2]  Trade Union of “Express de Santiago Uno S.A.”; Confederation of Workers of West Santiago, CONFESIMA;  Bolivarian Transport Workers of Chile Trade Union;  Transantiago Intercompany Passenger Transportation Worker´s Trade Union.

[3] National Budget 2013

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