Sardine Workers in Venezuela Elect Worker Administration

On
Thursday June 18th the workers of the sardine processing factory La
Gaviota in Sucre state held an assembly and elected a group of workers to make
the preparations for the workers to take over the administration of the
company.
By Tamara Pearson – Venezuelanalysis.com
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Mérida, June 22nd 2009
(Venezuelanalysis.com) - On Thursday June 18th the workers of the
sardine processing factory La Gaviota in Sucre state held an assembly and
elected a group of workers to make the preparations for the workers to take
over the administration of the company.

On May 1st the Venezuelan government
decided to temporarily take over the company due to its violations of work and
food production regulations. Then on May 28th President Hugo Chavez
announced the expropriation of the company.

On Thursday the assembly of workers elected six people
- 3 women and 3 men - to be responsible for areas of production, finished
products, administration, buying and storage, operation and logistics, and
human resources. Union leaders said the elected representatives have the
support of the functionaries of the government's consumer watchdog
organization, the National Institute for the Defense of People's Access to
Goods and Services (INDEPABIS).

Eduardo Saman, minister for commerce, said the
government's takeover of the plant had greatly increased employment and
production. He said that with the increased production they had been able to take
on more workers and the local fishers now had "sufficient work" as well.

Saman warned that any other company which violates the
price regulations for sardines will be sanctioned.

On announcing the take over the company, Chavez said,
"La Gaviota has been reborn producing the best of sardines. The company was
closed, the owners had abandoned it, and it has been recuperated with the
support of the workers. It's about the economic battle that will enable us to
transition from capitalism towards socialism."

At this time, La Gaviota
had 228 workers, was producing 60 tons of sardines per day, processing fish
flour, and producing the tin packaging as well.