ESPACIO PUBLICITARIO
CARACAS, Wednesday November 14, 2012 | Update
 
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LABOR

Government allegedly trying to uproot collective bargaining agreements

The Independent Front for the Defense of Employment and Unions (Fades) warned about government layoffs in 2013

As many as 400 collective bargaining agreements await renewal (File photo)
YANETH FERNÁNDEZ |  EL UNIVERSAL
Wednesday November 14, 2012  12:02 PM
In recent years, numerous labor protests by different sectors have sparked in Venezuela. Only in October, some 521 demonstrations were reported, 204 of which were labor-related, said the NGO Venezuelan Observatory of Social Unrest.

The main cause is associated with violations of collective bargaining agreements.

Trade unions believe this is not an isolated situation, but a government strategy to uproot both collective bargaining agreements and autonomous trade union movements.

Recent statements made by Executive Vice-President Nicolás Maduro triggered reactions on this issue.

Recently a dispute emerged within the energy sector due to non-compliance with the collective bargaining agreement entered into four years ago. In this sense, Maduro highlighted the need for "putting an end to the framework of collective bargaining agreements, as they have a hideous nature and fail to solve problems."  

Electric Energy Minister Héctor Navarro himself has asserted that the collective bargaining agreement has not been met because collection is not sufficient. Workers with the energy sector have described Navarro's argument as unfounded. The State has met a part of the costs of the latest collective bargaining agreements, in virtue of its policy of frozen electricity rates.

Collective downfall

Collective bargaining agreements continue to dwindle. The Independent Front for the Defense of Employment and Unions (Fades) says today nearly 400 contracts of mayors and governors' offices, ministries, and professional groups are awaiting their renewal.

Further labor instability is imminent. It is believed the State "is preparing massive layoffs," a Fades' member said.

Translated by Jhean Cabrera
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Is protest over?

That political protest in Venezuela has lost momentum seems pretty obvious: people are no longer building barricades to block off streets near Plaza Francia in Altamira (eastern Caracas), an anti-government stronghold; no new images have been shown of brave and dashing protesters with bandanna-covered faces clashing with the National Guard in San Cristóbal, in the western state of Táchira; and those who dreamed of a horde of "Gochos" (Tachirans) descending  in an avalanche to stir up revolt in Caracas have been left with no option but to wake up to reality.

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