Caracas, March 22nd 2012 (Venezuelanalsysi.com) – The Venezuelan foreign minister, Nicolas Maduro, has confirmed that the final stage of drafting the country’s new labour law is now underway. Expected to be passed on the 1st of May by presidential decree, the new labour law is a total overhaul of Venezuela’s existing employment legislation and will cover everything from maternity leave to organisation in the workplace.
In comments made on state television channel VTV, Maduro reiterated that the government had been working in conjunction with Venezuelan workers and organised communities in order to draft the law, which he described as a “vanguard” for the rest of the world.
“We are working and debating with the people to construct legal regulations which protect rights, stability and right to work... the labour law is an instrument for constructing the highest stage of socialism,” he stated, adding that one of the main goals of the new legislation will to be to eliminate sub-contracted labour.
Maduro contrasted the socialist vision of the new legislation with that of the past, which he said had allowed companies free rein to commit “labour fraud” at the expense of their employees. He also compared the new legislation to employment laws currently being reformed in Spain, which he classified as going explicitly “against the workers”.
Maduro made the announcements regarding the legislation after members of the presidential committee responsible for drafting the new law held a meeting yesterday to review the proposals that had been submitted by the general public.
Over 19,000 proposals have been submitted to the committee so far, with officials saying that the main points of debate are related to the re-organisation of the working day, the social relations of production, as well as to salaries and social benefits for workers.
More proposals are expected to be handed in by workers, social collectives and political parties throughout the coming month, with the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV) and the trade union umbrella group, UNETE, handing over their proposals later today.
The Venezuelan Communist Party has been carrying out workshops with relation to the work law throughout the country, and says that its proposals, along with UNETE’s, have been drafted from a “class” perspective.
“We are re-affirming our willingness to advance towards a new model in relations of production... to move on from capitalist relations of production, which condemn workers to exploitation, to socialist relations of production, which will allow us to construct a new order of labour in freedom, solidarity and participation, with absolutely no exploitation,” explained Pedro Eusse, General Secretary of the PCV.
According to UNETE coordinator, Roger Escalante, the program that will be handed in by the union organisation to the Miraflores Palace later today will be “socialist and humanist” and based on the “wellbeing of all workers, so that we are all protected equally”.