Written by UST – Venezuela
Friday, 23 May 2014 14:06
Many workers have felt eluded. They expected that the wage increase in May had an adjustment at least equal to inflation. During all these months of shortages, inflation and low wages, an atmosphere of moodiness and conflict has been created.
The government discredit among workers has greatly increased. As a consequence they expected a salary increase of at least 60% or even higher. But the dour faces after hearing the announcement said it all: this is a deceit! This is not enough for quite anything! That’s what was heard. And so it is! With a basic food basket costing 17,000 bolivars, a salary of 4,200 bolivars needs to be multiplied by 4 to buy it! [Editor’s Note: in the parallel exchange rate, the dollar is worth 72.00 bolivars].
The government anti-worker measures
Shortly after the beginning of the “Dialogue for Peace”, when business owners demanded dollars, the release of prices and the LOT  review, because according to them “job stability generates absenteeism and low productivity”, the government did nothing but to comply with these demands. Prices began to be released. The chicken price has gone from 18 to 43 bolivars, the same applies to sugar, rice, transportation, and it will continue.
Furthermore, Maduro offered “to form a committee with workers leaders and business leaders” to “show that job security does not encourage absenteeism.” And what will happen if businessmen “demonstrate” the opposite? Will the LOT be modified? And all these facts were announced after a “scolding” to employees of the state-run steelmaker Sidor, who were on strike because the company had not complied with the commitments previously agreed upon. They were told not to “be led astray by trade unionists adhering to these measures”. And he proposed that all workers “will have tomake much more sacrifices and increase the production”. Those who were wreckers yesterday and were doing the “economic war” are now rewarded with dollars and price increases. And the workers who struggle for their labor rights are “guarimberos.”  The workers are arrested by the Bolivarian National Guard, such as the Secretary of the Workers Union of Corpoelect, Francisco Alarcón just because he was requiring collective agreement and was denouncing the lack of investment in the industry.
On the other hand, the Supreme Court has actually banned the demonstrations that are not previously permitted to be carried out. The Government officers take advantages of the speeches of Corina Machado, or Ledesma, from the MUD , to say that they are all tarred with the same brush. “They are all guarimberos”….
The current constitutional democratic rights are being clipped, preventing the workers and popular sectors from organizing demonstrations.
To tackle the pact made by the MUD, the businessmen, the government and the trade union leaders
All these measures, that are against the living standard of wage earners and popular sectors, which attacks the basic democratic rights, such as demonstrations, form part of the measures set demanded by the bourgeoisie and the MUD and are backed by the inlaid bureaucracy within the workers’ organizations. It is a true anti-worker and anti-people covenant that we must confront.
The facts show that the “bourgeoisie and the rightists” and their “economic war”, which used to denounced the government before, now are supporting Maduro on these measures. Although, no doubts allowed, they want much more. So their screaming for “freedom and democracy” is nothing more than pure theater.
There is a “covenant” of “four legs” to force workers to pay the bill for the crisis and “the cheap dollar party” – enjoyed by businessmen and bureaucrats of all colors.
So we need to organize an independent and alternative organization of the workers and the popular sectors to confront this four-leg covenant. We need to build up a hub with a program that boosts the fight to oblige the real responsible ones for this situation and the same ones who took advantage of the “party” to pay for the crisis.
Some points of this program should be:
• For an immediate increase in wages, the same increase as the basic food basket;
• Price control by workers and popular organizations;
• Not a single dollar more for the bourgeoisie and the imperialism: workers’ control of PDVSA’s revenues;
• Economy planning according tothe people needs;
• Workers control of importation, production and distribution of staples, increase of investment and production;
• Investigation, expropriation and imprisonment of the owners of “maletín” companies  and those who divert dollars abroad;
• Nationalize the entire banking system and keep the foreign trade in hands of the State;
• To investigate thecexternal debt and suspend its payment;
• To reactivatecthe basic industries and make investments on them: control of the production and commercialization of all production..
We have already seen where the Maduro government is going when facing the crisis: to hug the workers’ enemies. Therefore, we will continue striving for unity or for a front of the working class and popular sectors organizations in order to fight and achieve a program as the one mentioned above.
For this reason, our call to the Unity of Trade Union Action, to the FADESS, and to the CCURA  to implement the agreements made on March 21st, at the School of Engineers. We must continue the achievement of a Struggle Plan, which must be discussed and approved at the rank and file, in companies and workplaces.
 LOT: Organic Labor Law.
 The “guarimba” is a place where protesters take refuge, sometimes in their own homes, when they burn tires and make barricades. When danger signs are released, these places are intended to shelter and to ease their return to fight. By extension, the “guarimberos” are considered thugs by the authorities.
 MUD: Bureau of Democratic Unity, a coalition of rightist parties, created in 2008 by opponents of Hugo Chávez government.
 The “maletín companies” are shell companies that receive dollars from the State for the importation of products, whose businessmen import products paying a much lower value than the dollars received and keeping the rest in their wallets.
 FADESS: Autonomous Front in Defense of Employment, Wages and Trade Union, CCURA: Classist, Unitary, Revolutionary and Autonomous Trend.
Article published in: Lucha Socialista Nueva Época No. 11, May 2014.