Aluminum sector workers call for talks on collective agreements

Friday, September 7, 2012

Workers in Venezuela's aluminum sector are calling on the government to approve talks on collective agreements throughout basic materials industries, the president of aluminum reducer Venalum's Sutrapuval professional workers union, Manuel Díaz, told BNamericas.

"How is it possible that talks are held at (state steelmaker) Sidor rather than Venalum after spending more years here anticipating an authorization? Either the measure is for everyone or for no one," Díaz said.

Díaz said that the union's collective contract expired four years ago despite it being the first to present economic studies and the draft collective agreement to Venezuela's planning and finance ministry.

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"We meet all the requirements and what is pending is that we are given authorization to hold dialogue. I believe they should be more reasonable than that," he said.


According to Díaz, President Hugo Chávez felt pressured by outsourced and Sidor workers, so in order to alleviate this he announced the authorization of talks on a collective agreements at the company.

"How can one say this a pro-workers' government, an integrated government, when one discusses the issue with one company when there are about 15 basic industry companies that have their contracts expired for several years?" Díaz asked.

In recent days workers at Sidor began talks to negotiate a new collective agreement after President Chávez gave authorization during a meeting with basic materials industry workers in the state of Bolivar, during his re-election campaign.