Union: Consolidated aluminum sector hinges on labor contract

Friday, September 12, 2008

The move to consolidate companies in Venezuela's aluminum sector and form state aluminum corporation CVA, "is an idea that still needs time to mature," Wilfredo Flórez, secretary of Bauxilum's labor union Suprobaux, told BNamericas.

So far the topic has not moved beyond meetings at the beginning of the year that the heads of the four state aluminum-related companies - Alcasa, Venalum, Bauxilum and Carbonorca - held with the ministry of basic industries and mining (Mibam) in a failed attempt to reach a single collective contract, he added.

"This is a preliminary issue that must be resolved in order to be able to think about a single union. So initially it's necessary to consolidate benefits in the sector so that they can later be managed by a single union," he said.

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However, Flórez feels that the government's recent changes to the boards at Bauxilum and Venalum are positive for the consolidation movement and said the initiative could pick up speed again.

The four companies that make up Venezuela's aluminum sector are subsidiaries of state heavy industry holding company CVG.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez announced in late August he was forming state steel company CSV to streamline the country's entire steel value chain from iron ore through finished products.