[Marxism] Venezuela report on workers-- 26 November 2003 (fwd)

Tony Tracy tony at tao.ca
Wed Nov 26 17:45:01 MST 2003

Here is the second of two reports from today from Mike Lebowitz on

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 20:30:01 -0400
From: michael a. lebowitz <mlebowit at sfu.ca>
Subject: Venezuela report on workers-- 26 November 2003

This is the second of two notes on current developments in Venezuela; it
is being sent to a larger distribution list because of its content. Please
circulate widely.

	There have been rumours that in private industry (largely
unorganised)  workers would be taken to the signature tables by their
supervisors to sign up in the 'Reafirmazo' to generate a recall of Chavez.
(It is called the RE-signing because of the opposition claim that their
unsupervised and constitutionally premature sign-up last February was the
first firmazo.)  There is some rather concrete evidence, though, that the
pressures upon private sector workers will be intense.
	I have just been shown a card by a leader of UNT (the National
Union of Workers, the new trade union federation formed in August). This
nicely embossed a card for the "reafirmazo' has a place for the bearer's
name and signature and a place where this card is to be stamped. It is
being given by private sector employers to their workers. The card reads
(roughly translated): 'Today I have left my signature and my hello for
history, as demonstration of my desire and will to look for a peaceful,
democratic and electoral exit to the crisis of the country.' What will
happen to workers whose card is NOT stamped is anyone's guess. The real
point is that the pressure being placed upon workers in the private sector
is clear. We can say with certainty that no such pressure was placed upon
public sector workers this last week because we definitely would have
heard about it.
	This is news that needs to be spread--- especially to trade
unionists who will recognise what such a card represents. Also, it is
essential to ensure that international observers watch for this.

	in solidarity,

Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
Office Fax:   (604) 291-5944
Home:   Phone (604) 689-9510

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