Workers outside the fire-ravaged salmon processing plant.

Staff made redundant at fire-ravaged salmon processing plant

Blumar-Multi X joint venture will compensate workers ‘given the impossibility of maintaining jobs’ at wrecked $70m factory


Five days after a fire that completely destroyed a US $70 million salmon processing plant close to Punta Arenas in the far south of Chile, the company that owns it has said it must make the workforce redundant.

Entrevientos, a joint venture between salmon farmers Blumar and Multi X, made the announcement after meeting with its workers and unions.

A “force majeure” clause in Chile’s Labour Code means the company has the right to dismiss the employers without redundancy payments, but Entrevientos said it will voluntarily compensate its staff, based on length of service.

In a press release, Entrevientos president Cristián Swett said: “It is important to highlight that, given the cause of force majeure invoked in this case, the company’s partners, the salmon farming companies Blumar and Multi X, make the decision to provide economic relief beyond what the law establishes."

Gratitude and respect

He added that “given the impossibility of maintaining jobs the Entrevientos partners make this effort as a sign of gratitude and respect towards those who performed functions at the plant”.

Swett said: “The fire last Sunday, February 11, was a very hard blow for both the company and the region. Entrevientos was born as a very special project that meant processing the salmon grown in the region in Magallanes, generating more employment and development opportunities for the area and its inhabitants. Our intention is to build the plant again and hopefully the workers who are here with us today want to be part of the company again.”

He thanked the Entrevientos workers, the union leaders and the regional and community authorities for their willingness to enter dialogue and search for solutions after the fire.

The Entrevientos plant began operations in 2020. It had cutting-edge technology, automated processes, and state-of-the-art machinery to meet the highest quality and safety standards. The factory employed up to 800 people.