“You can count on my support to recover the companies abandoned by the bourgeoisie,” Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro said in La Guaira, in Vargas State, in the opening speech of the National Congress of Socialist Workers on Sunday.
“We need to build a new economic model in the country, where the working class is protagonist,” said Maduro.
The First Congress of Workers, which officially starts today, will debate plans and proposals for the economic development of the country, with the presence of rural workers, industrial workers, and civil servants, among others. Over 6,500 delegates are in attendence.
The president called for the construction of a committed and revolutionary union movement, as current unions are “becoming too old, and are at the end of their tether”.
The head of state confirmed that workers’ organisations can rely on the executive power’s support to re-activate companies and production units that are not contributing to the development of the workers and the country.
“Whoever gets involved in the economic war, in one way or another, the workers, with the law in their hands, must take over this production unit (…) and make it work,” Maduro said, referring to what he alleges is economic sabotage committed by big business.
The Venezuelan government has repeatedly accused the opposition and big companies of attempting to destabilize the economy for instance by storing basic products to create a situation of scarcity, and selling the same products at high prices.
Wills Rangel, president of the pro-government Bolivarian Socialist Union of Workers (CBST), which organised the congress, seconded Maduro’s points and highlighted the importance of a protagonistic workers’ movement. “We bear the responsibility to make the revolution of Chavez irreversible,” he said.
Just like Maduro, Rangel believes that one of the main tasks of the workers’ movement will be the fight against inflation through an improvement of productivity, “for which it is necessary to determine the relationship between work and productivity in state-owned companies”, he added.
About the national steel company SIDOR, where workers have launched several strikes over the past month, Rangel said the workers’ proposals to improve the productivity and recover the company “must be listened to”, and he pleaded for the increased investment in the state-owned company, as well as others.
He said the meeting was not representing any sector specifically, not even the CBST, but rather representing “all the male and female workers of the country who feel committed to the Bolivarian, socialist homeland”.
Maduro also said that Venezuela’s Labour Law was Chavez’ greatest demonstration of loyalty with the workers’ cause, and urged the workers not to allow this law to go unheeded, by studying it and fighting for its application.
Edited by Venezuelanalysis.com