Chile: in the face of transport increases, let’s organize the protest

On October 6, there was a new increase in the Red Bus (ex – Transantiago, metro and central train) transport service fares, in the framework of a package of changes that include the increase in transport, leaving the value of the metro during peak hours at $ 840 and the bus at $ 710. This increase is part of a new blow to the working class as a whole, which had already suffered a rise only six months ago.
This has triggered the organization of high school students, who have been mobilizing for days in different subway stations, calling for the non-payment of the ticket (“evade, don´t pay!”) to brake the rises. The government’s response has been categorical, subway stations that look like a real state of siege, repression and arbitrary detentions of those who mobilize.

Measures for speculators, a disaster for those of us who work.

This package of increased values, both in transport and food products, takes place within the framework of a government austerity plan against workers and the people, a plan that they justify with the stagnation of poor economic growth, predicted by the Central Bank to be at 2.6% this year. Salaries in recent years have increased 40%, while the increase in services exceeds 70%.

Salaries remain precarious, unemployment is increasing and so-called “self-employment” jobs grow daily as a response of survival for the unemployed. While the government continues to allocate funds to private companies to maintain profit percentages, as is the case with Metro S.A., the bureaucratic leaderships of the CUT (Worker´s United Center) maintain a complicit silence in the face of the blows in the cost of living.

The struggle that students are taking to the streets has been brutally criminalized by the government and the media, justifying the uncontrolled and violent actions of the repressive forces, as well as threatening those mobilized with taking away their National Student Card. (TNE). We are going for a plan of struggle to stop the hikes

The mobilizations must continue to intensify, the struggle that the high school students are leading must be joined by the working class as a whole, carrying out a plan of struggle that calls for a national coordination to stop transport increases. It is on that path that the trade union centrals must abandon of their passivity and encourage protest with the transport users.

Our proposal is to recover public transport for the 99%, for its nationalization without compensation to the corporations, which make tremendous business out of a social right. We propose to nationaliza transport under the control of the workers, for the planning of a public quality and non-polluting
transport at a fair cost.

Camila Millaray