A golf club in Chicureo, north of Santiago, has been accused of illegal discrimination by the Belelu newspaper and the Union of Domestic Workers because the Breezes Golf Club does not allow maids or children younger than 8 years in their pool areas unless accompanied by a club member. Club rules also decree that maids must wear work uniforms in other common areas such as play areas, gardens, and tennis courts, but this is not enforced.
Chicureo is an oasis with many parks, green areas, and private clubs. It appeals to rich people who don’t work or don’t mind commuting a long distance from Santiago. The town features many recreational opportunities, including golf, skeet shooting, sailing, and tennis facilities that host a professional tournament each February.
Many people outside the USA employ affordable maids and nannies, and employers often treat them as family members, taking them along for weekend recreation and vacations, and nannies and children often forge strong attachments; but, members of the Breezes Golf Club at Chicureo only wants maids to use the club as guests of club members on days when they are not working.
According to Belulu, a maid’s son wrote a letter to the club (my translation):
Do you have any idea what it’s like to be a nanny? To rouse yourself at 6.30 AM and cross the city to care for the children, to arrive there and pick up dirty clothes (and the embarrassments of the previous day), to prepare the food (at times improvising because the señora “brought people to eat”), to clean the house until it’s impeccable, to the return crossing for two hours on the road, to clean your home, to cook for the following day, to care for the children and to sleep dead tired?
One of the biggest problems in Chile is that adults act like children, running to the paternal government to fix every real or imagined problem, even when they can resolve conflicts themselves. There is no need for the government to mediate the dispute because the maid can pressure the club in many ways: she can quit her job in favor of a more congenial work environment or employer; she can write a letter to the club, or her son can write it for her; she can distribute leaflets on the street like the pictured Tokyo maid; she can write letters to newspapers such as Belulu and other media outlets; she can organize a boycott or blacklist the club on a website where maids discuss the best places to work; she can publish her complaint to her Facebook friends and Twitter followers; she can protest on the highway outside the club when crowds arrive at the annual tennis tournament or other large events.
Government should resolve contract disputes and stay away from trivial private controversies. Chile claims that to want to leave behind Latin America, but it still resembles a syndicalist state of labor unions wielding tyrannical power:
Syndicalism is a type of economic system proposed as a replacement for capitalism and an alternative to state socialism, which uses federations of collectivised trade unions or industrial unions. It is a form of socialist economic corporatism that advocates interest aggregation of multiple non-competitive categorized units to negotiate and manage an economy.
For adherents, labor unions are the potential means of both overcoming economic aristocracy and running society fairly in the interest of the majority, through union democracy.