Application of Venezuela's Labor Law Advances

Labor Minister Maria Cristina Iglesias announced this week that the Labor Ministry will be intensifying meetings with public sector and state-run companies in the upcoming weeks to ensure the correct application of the Labor Law for Workers.

By PAUL DOBSON - CORREO DEL ORINOCO INTERNATIONAL
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Labor Minister Maria Cristina Iglesias (Presidential Press)
Labor Minister Maria Cristina Iglesias (Presidential Press)

Labor minister, Maria Cristina Iglesias, announced this week that the Labor Ministry will be intensifying meetings with public sector and State run companies in the upcoming weeks to ensure the correct application of the Labor Law for Workers, which was passed last year and comes into practice this May 7th.

Speaking at the Council of Ministers meeting in the Presidential Palace of Miraflores, the Minister declared that the Labor Law for Workers (Lottt) is currently at the stage where they are making the necessary real adjustments for its application, and that she will be presenting the applicatory regulations at the next meeting.

“On May 7th we will celebrate the promulgation of the Lottt… this day it becomes valid in the nation”, pronounced Iglesias.

The Law, which has been recognized as a great step forward for Venezuela and Venezuelans on the road to socialism, was described by Iglesias as “a conquest, a massively important achievement for the working class”.

“We have had meetings with the public sector and we will continue to meet this week, also with State firms and with autonomous institutions”, she explained.

Highlighting some of the most important aspects of the Law, she told the nation that “now we are making it a reality, this law, with the reduction of the working week from 44 to 40 hours and with 2 continuous days off for the workers”.

The Lottt also corrected many historic injustices by assuring the labor rights of women and people with disabilities, as well as complementing these legal rights with practical steps to improve the quality of life for such workers, such as obligatory work-based crèches for large firms. One of the other major advances in the 2012 law was the elimination of subcontracting.

Iglesias went on to emphasize that the increase in free time for the working classes “opens important spaces… to work more for the development of the country and also free days to enjoy family time, recreation, to study, or for the National Recreation Plan, which is being extended to all public spaces”. The human right to family time, time for recreation, sport, to study, and for voluntary or community work is guaranteed in the Constitution on an equal footing as the right to work.

Regarding the meetings with the firms, the Minister explained that the Ministry wishes for the public sector and State run companies to “lead by example in the application of the norms”. The Ministry is also meeting with social organizations and institutions, with workers and workers groups, with businessmen and women, all of whom will “of course receive the support of the Ministry”, she explained.

At the same meeting, Vice President Nicolas Maduro emphatically stated that “we are calling on all of the working class to play a more protagonist and active role in their localities, in their workplaces”. “We are building socialism here, which is not an easy task!”

“A society can only advance towards true prosperity”, Maduro explained, revealing his trade unionist roots, “if its workers are protected, and from that moment onwards it’s possible to elevate efficiency and to grow”.