Venezuelan Supreme Court Orders Opposition-Led Parliament to Pay Its Workers

Venezuela’s highest court sided Thursday with a group of public sector workers who alleged the opposition controlled National Assembly has failed to pay their wages.
By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
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Venezuela's highest court has called on the National Assembly to properly pay its rank and file workers. (AVN)
Venezuela's highest court has called on the National Assembly to properly pay its rank and file workers. (AVN)

Puebla, Mexico, January 20, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela’s highest court sided Thursday with a group of public sector workers who alleged the opposition controlled National Assembly has failed to pay their wages.

The ruling ordered the National Assembly’s budgetary office to ensure all workers receive their wages in a timely manner. In a statement published on the Supreme Court (TSJ) website, the court’s constitutional chamber said the National Assembly (AN) was responsible for “serious failures” to pay salaries of workers and contractors.

“In the case under review, the chamber warned the AN has been creating in recent months situations of contempt, and breaches of the constitutional order that have affected … the protection of fundamental rights of its workers,” the statement read.

The case was brought to the TSJ by a group of disgruntled public sector employees, who alleged as many as 4000 AN staffers may have been impacted by unpaid wages.

Court documents show the AN was accused of “flagrantly” violating constitutional protections of public sector employees by failing to ensure due process in pay disputes, leaving the frustrated workers with no alternative but to take legal action.

The TSJ broadly agreed the AN had been responsible for payment irregularities, and called for “the timely payment of salaries”.

The AN is yet to respond to the ruling.

The AN and TSJ have repeatedly butted heads over the past year. All of the AN’s major decisions have been overridden by the TSJ. The opposition holds a majority in the AN, and has repeatedly accused the TSJ of handing down politically motivated verdicts. The TSJ has ruled the AN has acted improperly on numerous occasions, including by swearing in a group of legislators facing investigations into allegations of electoral irregularities. 

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