Chile’s waste collectors, local government and outsourcing

Publicado en Sep 13, 2013 - 5:15pm [2.733 lecturas] .

Mr. Jobet pathetic debut of the recently appointed Secretary of Labor, whose performance let us see his lacking capacity of understanding one of the most serious labor problems in the country: outsourcing and that attitudes such as friendly pats, coffee meetings and other “techniques” that regarding administration are imparted in the academic temples where cult to the neoliberal dogma is imparted are no good, when the realities that reproduces this régime arise.

The massive strike of the workers of public waste collectors evidenced what has happened already in other areas, such as:  health, education, social security, crime prevention, transportation, and mining, among other issues which millions of Chileans undergo. The implementing of the subsidiarity of the state, as a founding principle dramatically undermined compliance with the most basic public functions, which correspond to a country minimally organized.   In fact, subsidiarity has become synonym of a negligent State that ignores its main tasks, which delegate discretionally its functions, without caring if who replaces it has the means and the instruments to do so. In this manner, the main concern of an neoliberal state order, are no longer the socioeconomic problems of its citizens, who are relegated to a second or third plane; to privates, with or without profit as a finality; or, in the best of the cases, in supposedly autonomous administrative organisms, such as the local governments or corporations, but that due to their scarce margin of resolution, are heavily dependent.

This way, the higher levels and larger decisive capacity can be devoted on full time  to the central concern of the  neoliberals of the moment: the handling of the Public Treasury, by means of the restrictive control of the social expenditure and the conservation of the institutional guarantees so that the financial capital operates at its will.

This way, apparently it is decentralized and the administration of the State is delegated, but, in fact, the concentration of the economic and financial policies is an absolute of the prevailing state order and that it maintains captive the entities to which it transfers the attention of the basic social necessities.

Outsourcing is the expression of such policies in terms of the organization of paid work, as well as at the state level, because although the client is no longer centralized State under neoliberal formulas, here acts a public or private that passes over to second and / or third party activities that it habitually carried out in its turn.

It should be noted that outsourcing is not an original mechanism of transnational finance capital, since historically there have been such procedures both in the public and private realms, in periods prior to the current one. What is different in the actual moment is that it has as its characteristics the seeking to protect capital gains, which we now call profits and undermine remunerations, that is to say, that one part intended for the reproduction of the work force.

That easily explains discrimination in wages, labor rights and working conditions affecting outsourced workers in relation to their peers hired by major or principal companies.

The perverse aspect of now is that in the situation of the workers of the public waste collectors, these detrimental methods for the workers have been legitimated in the public realm. And this way, we can observe in hospitals, transport services, tertiary services, universities and other public institutions, a proliferation of hard-working workers undervalued as such, in relation to the decreasing staffs of permanent workers, whose future, nearer each day is to sub employ themselves in anyone of the formulas that the “labor market” offers, like those initiated in the rite of profit like to say. Not even those who practice a traditional profession, such as Medicine or Engineering, are spared from falling tumbling down the abyss of the “delaboralization” of their work, that is to say, falling in lack of legal protection.

Did the Secretary Jobet pretend that the companies of the waste business consent to the pretensions of their workers?, when their utilities are obtained on the basis of reducing the labor costs to the maximum possible, or that the local governments broke financially with the overloading of functions delegated by the Central Administration, without transference of the necessary resources would obtain financing by art of magic? The only thing certain is that outsourcing within the realm of the public only brings scarcity to its workers and it provides a public service with notorious deficiencies.

Therefore the relevance of the construction of a new state order where the non-renounceable functions of the State for the population’s well-being, are not subordinated to financial criteria through the delegating to entities subsidized wretchedly, which is passed over automatically to its workers and those who require those services. The subsidy, be it called educational grant, per capita, or in any other way, is a discriminatory mechanism that seeks to restrict to the maximum the expense in the public function that corresponds and that comprehends the outsourcing like factor of contention of the remunerations.


Pedro Aravena Rivera, Labour lawyer

Published on Aug 2, 2013. 

Leave A Response