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miércoles, marzo 09, 2005

SF Labor Council denounces ILO complaint against Venezuela, calls on state fed to do the same

The San Francisco Labor Council has come out in opposition to the CTV's complaint against the Venezuelan government, scheduled to be heard before the International Labor Organization (ILO) this week. The CTV says that the government has violated numerous basic rights of trade unions, and is on a mission to destroy independent unions in Venezuela. The UNT, on the other hand, says this is a ploy by the rapidly diminishing CTV to attack the government and strike back at the new union confederation, and that the charges levied against the government and the UNT have no validity.

You do have to wonder what's really going on when the national chamber of commerce, along with employers' associations of nearly two dozen other countries, suddenly start showing such concern for supposed violations of labor unions' rights.

The SF Labor Council also called for the California Federation of Labor to go on record against the ILO complaint. Here's the Council's statement:

Statement on Venezuela Adopted unanimously by the San
Francisco Labor Council at its February 28, 2005
Delegates Meeting:

The San Francisco Labor Council (AFL-CIO) opposes the
complaint initiated by the Venezuelan employers
association, FEDECAMARAS, before the ILO recommending a
Commission of Inquiry into trade union freedoms in
Venezuela. This Complaint has been endorsed and
supported by employers' associations in 23 countries,
including the United States. It is our view that the
convening of an ILO Commission of Inquiry is designed
to undermine the very progress of the labor movement
within present-day Venezuela.

Today in Venezuela, workers are participating in a
democratic, transparent , and inclusive process to
strengthen the organization of labor groups. The
Venezuelan Constitution protects a worker's right to
organize, the freedom of association and collective
bargaining.

We recognize and respect the right of Venezuelan
workers to determine their own processes and procedures
in accordance with the ILO mission to promote social
justice, human and labor rights.

The San Francisco Labor Council also calls upon the
California Federation of Labor (AFL-CIO) to concur with
this resolution. Last summer, the California Federation
of Labor adopted a resolution opposing NED funding by
the national AFL-CIO for the purpose of promoting U.S.
government policy in Venezuela. Opposition to the ILO
Commission of Inquiry on Venezuela by the U.S. labor
movement is part of the same struggle to promote a new
foreign policy by labor that is independent from U.S.
State Department objectives.

(resolution submitted by Alan Benjamin, delegate to the
Council from OPEIU Local 3)

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