Mysida, it wasn't with further notice, Chilean law, union members as to vote if they accept the new offer from the company or go into strike, after the vote, if strike is the option the union members select, the empleyer is notified and 36 hours later the strike became efective, in our case, we have been negotiating with the employer for over a month, so is not 'suddenly stop working without notice' , employer know in advance that union was not happy with its offer.
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just to make you guys an idea of living costs in chile
if you look at standard budget, this is for a single person and is around US$ 1000, and most of the ALMA workers have family.
No i'm from Chile,and probably you have a nice warm place to stay at 14F, fire,no wind blowing in your face make you nose chill
a simple example, sometime we have a lot of snow, and guess which color our tracks are....... white... so a few months ago we almost suffer the lost of a few colleagues due to 'white snow'
I was corrected by a collegue which says 'we have two bathrooms, one is broken, and the other is only for 'number 1', so if you have to 'number 2' , then you are
(sorry for the wrong use of 'without' i was corrected by a colleague a few moments ago)
because they argue that they have political/diplomatic immunity and that the site (terrain maybe is more accurate) has that privilege .
If you see the add, they work form 8 to 5 MonFri, we work Mon to Mon 12hours a day, except first day wich is from 11 to 8 and last day wich is 8 to 3, wich is 88 hours in a week, then 6 das off, so is 44 hours a week in average? and we can't go back to our houses every night while working, because we are 1200km away from home, some even more, is a 2 hour bus trip to the nearest airport, and then 2 hous of fligh, or 24 hours in bus. so is not comparable with McDoald Observatory!
Also elevation , accoring to thir page is only 2000mts, our residence is a 2960 and the work area at 5000mts.
Well in chile to sue anything is complicated, so we use the stirke as a last result if talks between parties didn't work , as in this case.
at the beggining, of the negotiation, the money part was the one that get more publicity by the media, but there was a lot of other points, personally i'm not on strike for the salary, but for the condition , of course i will not reject if my salary is increased
(i'm not part of the union directive, jus a union member, speaking for myself!)
Galoise, the point is that ALMA says it obey the local work regulation and base the contracts on that, but when local work authorities want to check if all is in place and 'by the book', they says 'sorry you can't check here, because we have inmmutity' so they abuse of that condition on they favor.
jobs are from mechanical workers, electric engineers, antenna operator, array operators, warehouse operators , software programmers, system administrator, dba, network eng.
about base salary, we are around 10% or 20% better paid than the same job at a santiago , for example
I'm a Chilean citizen, 80% of the workers are Chilean citizen and the rest are from US, Europe or Asia (Japan mainly)
but i would like to say that the strike is not mainly for the salary, also for the working conditions.
Thanks for the correction
First of all, I work for ALMA and I'm part of the workers union , but i'm speaking for myself.
the budget is 1.5 billion already spent on the project , each antenna with all its equipment cost US$10 million, and there are 64 of them,and then you have to add all the building, devices, software licenses, computers, network equipment and other things that the project needs, so you can go easily to one billion only on that , which is already in place.
about two, yes english site, agree use , instead of . for thousand separator
three, 2,000 USD is the average, some workers make less than 1,000 USD per month, working 12 hours a day on 8 days working, 6 days off shift, the average is 2,000 USD and top paid workers are getting nearly 6,000 USD per month.
Another important point, we are on strike NOT for the money, we are on strike because the company that have our contracts is changing condition and removing some benefits , maybe U.S. laws permit that, but ALMA is located in Chile, and laws here are different, also ALMA is abusing of its special diplomatic condition to disallow inspection by the agency in charge of verify working conditions (Inspeccion del Trabajo de Chile).
Also to clarify, most of the work is performed at 5,000msn (16,000 ft over sea level), with tempetures as low as -10 celcius (14 fahrenheit) with relative humidity of 5% and winds of 10 m/s (32feet/s).
Dude, i invite you to work in ALMA for a month, a 16,000 ft, with temps as low as 14 F , and winds of 32m/s for $12.50 per our on 12 hour shift with out bathroom or a descent place to eat.... then we can talk