Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The following short but interesting article from the Lib-Com site tells of a recent strike in Venezuela. The reader will note the last paragraph where the response of the 'Bolivarian state' to a previous strike at this facility was to use state forces to break the strike. The siding of the state with the employers in this case seems to be a matter of real-politic in the diplomatic sense, as the so-called "populist" Chavez puts the interests of Venezuelan workers behind those of other South American regimes that he wishes to be on friendly terms with. Yet even within Venezuela itself there is more than enough evidence of how what is called the "Boli-bourgeoisie" benefits from an increasingly corrupt government hiding behind radical phraseology.
Three day strike at Venezuelan steelmaker

Workers launched a 72-hour strike at Venezuela's largest steelmaker, Ternium Sidor, late on Tuesday to protest stalled contract talks.
"The strike is for 72 hours and it started last night," said union leader Jose Rodriguez.

Workers have repeatedly shut Sidor, 60 percent owned by Argentina's Ternium, as part of demands for higher pay in what has been a 14-month dispute for a collective contract. The union on Monday called a 24-hour strike as part of the same dispute.

This is the sixth time this year that the plant, located in the southwest state of Bolivar, has been shut down as part of demands for higher pay. The union says it will not accept a daily salary increase of less than 53 Bs.F (US$24), however, the company says its final offer is 44Bs.F (US$20.5) per day.

An earlier protest by Sidor workers on March 14, in the midst of an 80 hour strike, was broken up violently by 120 functionaries of the Bolivar section of the National Guard and 60 state police. One union leader was wounded by gunfire and more than 50 people were arrested during the clashes.

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