Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Labor Unions vs. Chavez?

It sounds counter intuitive, but given the proclamations that "Bolivarian Socialism" should 'replace Unions...
Despite pro-worker rhetoric, Chavez's brand of "21st Century Socialism" is not closely tied to labor movements and he recently argued the unions should cease to exist in his self-styled revolution. sure looks like Hugo Chavez is in for some rough times with the Unions, especially the workers at PDVSA, the nationalized Oil Production Monopoly. Health, Education, Electric Utilities and Telecommunication (most all nationalized as well) are also likely to be beating the drum for better compensation. One issue is the ~30% inflation rate being endured in Venezuela right now, but another is just plain inflation of the number of workers on the government rolls:
But a two-year nationalization drive has boosted state employment rolls by placing cement, steel and telecom companies in government hands and creating a new cadre of state workers who often receive better benefits than in the private sector.

State oil company PDVSA has more than tripled its permanent employees to about 75,000 since 2003, according to recent figures.
Ouch, that is going to leave a mark.

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