Though unions are active in Chile, they are generally not as powerful as they are in some other Latin American countries, such as Argentina. The most important unions to be aware of are CUT (Central Unitaria de Trabajadores de Chile), Chile’s national trade union center, comprising various unions; and the ANEF (Agrupacion Nacional de Empleados Fiscales), which is the union for Chile’s public employees.
Within companies with fewer than 50 employees, 8 employees are necessary to form a union. Within companies with more than 50 employees, 25 members are needed. In the latter case, 8 members may found the union initally, but if, after one year, the minimum of 25 members has not been reached, the union is automatically dissolved.
Union representatives cannot be fired, except via a complicated judicial process.