Workers’ rights campaign venezuela
Fighting for workers’ rights in the Bolivarian Republic
Venezuela has not been out of the news in the last few years. While most of the world’s media is accusing the Chavez regime of being only one step away from a ‘communist’ dictatorship the real picture of Venezuelan reality is very different. The Chavez government has embarked on a massive programme of social change and wealth redistribution. Venezuela, a country of enormous national wealth, has historically known a very unequal wealth distribution. Under the dominion of multinationals and imperialism Venezuelan wealth found its way to the rich elite in many countries but never trickled down to improve the living and working conditions of the masses and the working class in Venezuela itself.
Since his first election in 1998 the Chavez government has established a number of social programmes known as ‘missions’ delivering access to free education, providing free health care and making cheap staple foods available for millions.
The Workers’ Rights Campaign Venezuela supports the positive steps and reform programs aimed at eradicating poverty and supporting the working class, the peasantry and the poor masses in rebuilding their lives.
The Workers’ Right Campaign sets itself the aim of campaigning in Venezuela and internationally to assist workers in setting up trade union and other workers organisations in defence of their rights. The Workers’ Rights Campaign Venezuela was set up in April 2006 by Venezuelan trade union members. Founding members of the Campaign are the health workers trade union sirtrasalud in the capital district of Caracas, the UNT branch in the electricity company Cadafe and the executive committee of the Surpofard trade union in the pharmaceutical industry.
The campaign is based on a ten point program aimed at clarifying the aims of the campaign and the issues which stand before the Venezuelan working class today.
We seek the support of the international workers’ movement in defending the rights of workers in Venezuela and developing independent workers’ representation in the form of supporting the extension of trade unions in all factories and workplaces and in the form of political representation through political organizations or parties.
The Workers Rights Campaign Venezuela stands for:
- Respect the right of workers to organise and unionise in local committees and trade unions for the independent defence of their class interests.
- The fight against redundancies and lay-offs. No to enforced flexibility in the workplace. For the workers through their organisations and elected representatives to have control over the recruitment and redundancies in their workplaces.
- For the immediate payment of the national minimum wage in all sectors of the economy as a first step towards a living minimum wage linked with the average inflation guaranteeing a dignified life for workers and their families. For the immediate access to social security for all inhabitants of Venezuela.
- Trade Union democracy. For the general assembly of workers to elect their representatives in the workplace. For the trade union members of the workplaces to elect the officials in the trade union on local, regional and national level. All representatives should be subject to recall by the bodies that elected them. No to secret negotiations. For the workers’ general assembly to decide on all negotiations between the Trade Unions and bosses organisation and/or the government. For a cap on the wages of trade union paid organisers and officials so that they are no higher than the wage of a skilled worker.
- Full equality between man and woman in the workplace. For the trade unions and other workers organisations to actively campaign for gender equality in the workplace and in society. No to discrimination of gender, race, sexuality, age or religion
- For the immediate implementation of a system of workers’ control over production in alliance with the local community. This means the election of supervisers and managers by the general assembly of workers. For managers and supervisors not to earn more than the average wage of a skilled worker. For the workers and local communities to decide over a plan of production in accordance to the needs and possibilities of the workplace and local community. We produce the richness we need immediate control to combat sabotage, misuse of resources and exploitation of workers.
- Open the books of the companies. For the workers to discover the secrets of the factory and the extent of their exploitation beginning in their own workplace as a first step and extended to their sector of the economy to end with the whole national economy. For workers to know what percentage of the national wealth is appropriated by the capitalist class and latifundio.
- For the immediate expropriation of all idle factories and factories which run below their productive capacity under workers’ control and management.
- We fight for the establishment of a political party to defend the class interests of the workers and poor. For a workers’ party which is an active, fighting and democratic party on a program of genuine democratic socialism
- For a workers and poor peoples socialism, nationalisation of the commanding heights of the economy and the immediate working out of an emergency plan for economic development. No trust in the machinery and the representatives of the 4th Republic and its remnants in the 5th Republic. Remove the representatives of capitalism from government and the state.