Chile, a Right to Work Nation, Is Near the Top in Economic Freedom

Clarity In Chile
Investor’s Business Daily
April 15, 2011

What does one call a state whose Senate says “no” to its public employee unions for strikes and collective bargaining? Perhaps Wisconsin, but in fact Chile. Seems it still likes being tops in economic freedom and growth.

After two days of debate, a proposed change to Chile’s constitution allowing collective bargaining privileges and a “right” to strike for public unions was voted down. The change got just 21 votes, four short of a two-thirds needed. Even many of the left-leaning opposition abstained.
But you can’t say they didn’t try.
“Chile is the only country in the world whose constitution forbids collective bargaining and the right to strike, so we have to take care of this situation,” Chilean Sen. Patricio Walker argued.
“This motion is a fundamental right enshrined in workers, whatever their performance level, and gives effect to the (United Nations’) ILO Convention 151,” said Sen. Pedro Munoz, reminding the public just why it shouldn’t support the bill.
All this is relevant because Chile is the first nation whose return to democracy was based on economic freedom. On global economic freedom rankings, Chile stands near the top — in part because its public employees can’t run up debt or corrupt the political process.
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Photo: Alex Grechman

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