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JULY 26, 2022

Chile’s government awards 40 Hours Seal to ENAMI, the first state-owned company, and the first mining company, to receive it

Labor and Social Security Minister Jeannette Jara explained that the presentation of amendments to the bill that reduces the working week to 40 hours will be announced by President Gabriel Boric, and that they will be governed “by the principles of responsibility and care for employment”.

The National Mining Corporation (ENAMI) has become the country’s first state-owned company, and the first mining company, to receive the 40 Hours Seal. Labor and Social Security Minister Jeannette Jara, Minister Secretary General of the Government Camila Vallejo and Mining Minister Marcela Hernando awarded the seal during a ceremony held at La Moneda Cultural Center’s National Cinematheque.

“Today, we are reconfiguring and adapting to a new way of life. We are therefore presented with the challenge of how to transform and change as a society. In this context, the changes adopted by ENAMI are very interesting, because, firstly, as well as being at the forefront, they set an example as a state-owned company; secondly, they have made these changes alongside workers’ organizations. That is part of our government’s fundamental hallmark, resolving issues through social dialogue, with talks including two or three parties,” Minister Jara explained.

Minister Vallejo, the government spokeswoman, recalled that when the project was presented there was a lot of resistance and criticism. However, she stated that today “I think it is very positive that following that period we are here with ENAMI as the first state-owned company to take up this initiative. After all these years, we believe that it is possible and necessary to do it. And it is not purely for reasons of work, of dignity in work, which certainly does have a lot to do with it. Maintaining wages with shorter working hours immediately increases the value of people’s work. And it is also about physical and mental health; because economic growth does not make sense if it does not guarantee material and spiritual development.”

“As president of the board of ENAMI, I am proud to give this great news to the employees of the country’s first state-owned company to be awarded the 40 working hours certificate,” Mining Minister Marcela Hernando said. She continued, “I want to acknowledge the executive, who promoted this idea with the conviction that today we are improving quality of life not only for workers, but also their families.”

Minister Hernando added that “we are aware that applying this policy in the mining sector will be gradual, taking into account the shift system with which the sector has traditionally operated. However, we hope that this decision by ENAMI can pave the way for more companies in the industry to join up.”

The seal was received by ENAMI’s executive vice-president, Jaime Pérez de Arce, and union representatives from the company, such as president of the National Federation of ENAMI Workers, Nora Miranda, and president of the No. 1 Workers Union from the Hernán Videla Lira Foundry, Eduardo de la Barrera.

“On behalf of the National Mining Corporation, I naturally feel very proud to be here today to receive the 40 Hours Seal, which recognizes the companies that have reduced the working week to 40 hours, prior to the legislative change that we all expect. First, because we are the first state-owned company that has addressed this challenge of shortening the working day in order to improve the quality of life of our workers. Second, because we are the first mining company that is enthusiastically taking up this initiative promoted by the government of President Boric, as it allows us to reconcile the working, personal and family lives of our workers,” said the executive vice-president of ENAMI, Jaime Pérez de Arce.

Labor Undersecretary Giorgio Boccardo, Social Security Undersecretary Christian Larraín and Mining Undersecretary Willy Kracht also took part in the ceremony, alongside members of Congress.

19 companies have already been awarded the 40 Hours Seal. Alongside ENAMI, Rayen Salud, Instituto IACC, Dínammo Consultores, Bigos SpA, Comercial y Servicios Vasval, Primser, Gesam Consultores, Dando la Hora, Fullpyme, Coopeuch, FirstJob, Caja Los Andes, Detacoop, Wom, Chocolatería Dulce Lluvia, Alimentos Runca Limitada, Cervecería Bundor and Extintores Alfa have also joined the initiative.

Companies that have reduced their working week to 40 hours or less can apply for the seal via the Labor Ministry website.

Source: Labor and Social Security Ministry