2ª parte: la realidad de la industria portuaria y el momento actual de las y los trabajadores

“La entrega del patrimonio portuario nacional a los capitales transnacionales y la exposición de los trabajadores a la desprotección (…) constituyen dos formas inaceptables de atropello a la soberanía del país, que los portuarios de Chile rechazan

Dante Campana

 El largo proceso de concesiones de los distintos frentes de atraque y muellaje de los puertos de Chile finalizó a mediano de los años 90, con la licitación de los principales terminales de la zona central del país. En este proceso de licitación, por medio de la participación directa de capitales privados, el Estado buscó aumentar su productividad y modernización. Desde el punto de vista de las políticas públicas, este proceso se orientó a liberar al sector portuario de la presencia económica del Estado, generando un marco de incentivos para que actuaran las empresas privadas marítimas portuarias (desde ahora en adelante M-P), con un fuerte apoyo y respaldo del industria financiera.

Efectivamente las concesiones produjeron un comportamiento acelerado del crecimiento portuario y con ello “beneficios” crecientes para el comercio exterior del país, sobre todo para los grandes holdings comprometidos. Es así como los puertos públicos-concesionados y privados se han posicionado hasta la fecha -dentro del movimiento de carga en América latina-, en los primeros lugares, con un registro de 130 millones de toneladas de carga anual. De ese movimiento total de carga, el 60 % fue aportado por las 10 empresas portuarias estatales concesionadas (Ver “Solidaridad” Nº 23), que, sólo en el período 1990-2012, supera los ¡4 mil millones de dólares! (Ver documento: Cámara marítima y portuaria de chile A.G. Anuario 2013).

En conclusión, la evolución de los mercados, los servicios contratados en las faenas M-P, y las tecnologías introducidas al mundo M-P estos últimos 15 años, han transformado radicalmente la industria M-P. Transformación profunda que se refleja actualmente no sólo en las altas tasas de rentabilidad de las principales empresas vinculada al mercado M-P (Sudamericana, Ultramar), sino sobre todo al cambio social sufrido en el mundo de los obreros M-P; tanto en el mercado del trabajo, como en su cultura portuaria y su organización sindical.

Es justamente esta modernización y el incremento sostenido en la industria M-P, quien ha necesitado marginar a las y los trabajadores de la riqueza producida para poder desarrollarse, impactando negativamente en la realidad del trabajo portuario. Con esto queremos decir que, mientras la industria fue privatizada durante las décadas de los ’80 y los ‘90, se perdieron históricas conquistas y beneficios obtenidos tras varias jornadas de lucha (Ver “Solidaridad Nº 23). Mientras más se integraban nuevas y complejas tecnológicas al mercado, más se marginaba a las y los trabajadores, mientras más aumenta la trasferencia de carga por hora, menos personal se necesita, y a pesar de los aumentos netos obtenidos en los salarios estos últimos años, el valor pagado al obrero por cada tonelada movilizada, ha ido en dirección contraria.

Las características del empleo portuario y las nuevas organizaciones del gremio

Tal vez la característica central del mercado laboral M-P, sea la situación de inestabilidad permanente del empleo. El grueso de las y los trabajadores vinculados a la actividad M-P lo hace en condición eventual y transitorio (un promedio del 75% de la mano de obra total). Esta particular condición laboral impacta fuertemente en la vida del faenero portuario. De hecho sin esta condición, es difícil comprender el imaginario social instalado en la identidad del trabajador portuario. Es a partir de esta situación, que comprende a la mayoría de los obreros M-P, que se desprenden sus demandas, su cultura, sus avances en materia de organización, las perspectivas sindicales de una franja cada vez menos pequeña de trabajadoras y trabajadores M-P, que de poco han ido posicionando su voz, sus métodos y sus justas reivindicaciones a lo largo del país.

Demandas y derechos laborales que son rastreables en la historia reciente de sus organizaciones. En la iniciativa de la Coordinadora de Trabajadores Marítimos Portuarios de Chile,  se puede ubicar este empeño de unidad, que luego de 10 años de un largo esfuerzo de acumulación de fuerza y de organización, ha podido lograr por lo menos dos grandes conquistas nacionales. Logros que involucran a todos los obreros M-P de Chile, pero sobre todo a sus sectores más sumergidos y precarizados: los eventuales (contrato y despido diario).

La primera de estas conquistas parciales se concretizó en la recientemente aparecida “ley corta portuaria”, de la que se desprende, entre otras cosas; “el derecho al descanso y colación, derecho a conformar comité paritario (seguridad e higiene), el 22 de septiembre como el día del trabajador/a portuaria/a, y el derecho al pago retroactivo de la media hora de descanso y colación”.

Y la segunda conquista es la legitimación que da la lucha misma al derecho que tienen los y las  trabajadores a organizarse y pelear como portuarios a nivel de país. Esta conquista de dignidad y de unidad, se manifiesta en la Unión Portuaria de Chile que ha logrado por un lado, posicionar la organización por rama de actividad, desplazando, no sin dificultades, a la burocrática Cotraporchi, y por otro, ser un referente para el resto de las y los trabajadores de Chile, y el conjunto del movimiento popular.

 

Algunos hitos de este proceso:

La Ley 18.032 de 1981 que terminó con el “monopolio” laboral de los trabajadores portuarios. Recuérdese que sólo podían trabajar en las faenas portuarias quienes poseyeran una matrícula que se entregaba en números limitados y que transformaba a sus poseedores en dueños absolutos del trabajo, situación que derivó en los recordados “pollos” y “medios pollos”.

 La Ley 18.042 de 1981 que quitó a las Empresas Portuarias del Estado el monopolio de todas las faenas desde el costado de la nave hasta los almacenes y viceversa. Esta Ley sumada a la anterior, permitió que el sector privado desarrollara todas las faenas desde la bodega de la nave hasta el almacén.

 La Ley 19.542 de 1997 que establece un rol subsidiario del Estado en construcción de frentes de atraque y permite a las Empresas Portuarias Estatales entregar en concesión a privados la administración y operación total de un frente de atraque condicionado a que estos hagan las inversiones necesarias para construirlos y/o transformarlos.

 

por Arturo López

 

[publicado en la edición n°26 de solidaridad]

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