Venezuela renews firing freeze

Jose G. Perez jg_perez at
Tue Jul 15 07:01:59 MDT 2003

(You know something is going on when instead of a hiring freeze, the
government is decreeing a firing freeze.)

UPDATE 1-Venezuela prolongs labor firing ban to January 2004
Mon July 14, 2003 06:39 PM ET
(Adds reaction from private business leader, paras 4-5)

CARACAS, Venezuela, July 14 (Reuters) - Venezuela's government, moving
to shield workers from a sharp recession, Monday extended until January
2004 a decree prohibiting public and private companies from reducing
their work forces.

The government firing freeze signalled a further financial blow for
Venezuela's battered private sector, which is already reeling from the
effects of tight currency controls and the worst economic recession in
Venezuela's recent history.

"The cabinet order decreeing the firing freeze for six more months will
come into effect tomorrow," Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel told
reporters in Caracas.

Private business leaders condemned the announcement as a "populist" move
by leftist President Hugo Chavez's government, aimed at bolstering
support from workers as it faced criticism for its handling of the
depressed economy.

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