Venezuela's Sidor union accused of sabotaging steel production

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Venezuela's deputy industry minister and president of state heavy industries conglomerate CVG, Justo Noguera Pietri, presented a document to the public prosecutor's office in Puerto Ordaz that accuses striking union members at the company's steelmaker Sidor of sabotaging production.

The accusations include the obstruction of shipments of rebar, wire rod and coils through road blockages and the shutdown of production equipment, CVG said in a release.

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The document says the sabotage lasted over 90 days and caused steel production to drop by 69.8%, with losses of 630,600t.

The losses affected the construction of an estimated 31,900 houses using Sidor steel, according to the release.

In July, the president of Venezuela's national assembly Diosdado Cabello said that "union mafias" at Sidor are affecting productivity and attempting to destabilize the country.

Cabello also said unions have been behind several conflicts at Sidor in the past year, and alleged workers put in just 90 days over the past 10 months.

Sidor, the biggest steelmaker in Venezuela, has production capacity of 4.2Mt/y liquid steel. The company, located in Bolívar state's Ciudad Guayana, was nationalized by the late President Hugo Chávez in 2008.