For thirteen years we heard the promises of a new Labor Bill to return to workers what had been robbed. For thirteen year the mandate to go back to retroactivity was ignored. For months we have been hearing what a glorious day this was going to be for workers. There were celebrations. Not until the Bill was signed did we learn the details. And now we learn:
The Bill has lots of smoke and mirrors, but in the end, it has few whistles.
Take the promise to go back to retroactivity. As Petkoff explains today in his Editorial, it turns out that the “bad” system is better, unless you have worked for the same company for a long time, something like thirteen years. Thus, in the end, most Venezuelan workers will see nothing new going forward, Chavez changed very little, the “bad” old system was better, thus the law lets you choose between the two. Bt most likely you will take the old “bad” law, not the revolutionary one.
However, remember those interest rates on severance, which used to be paid at the average between the lending rate and the savings rate?
Well, the revolution now shortchanged workers by saying it will beat the much lower savings rate from now on. And the workers probably don’t yet know it, after all the hullabaloo about the greatest Labor Bill on Earth of the last few days.
And remember how excited you were by the work week being shortened by four hours a week?
Shucks, it only applies if you work more than 40 hours a week.
And remember the Government managed pension fund?
Well, when 75% of private workers took their money out when the news leaked, the Government decided to make it optional. Which means that most people will continue to use the “old” and “bad” system of having your company deposit the money in a bank where you will have quick access to your money.
And the extra holidays by Law?
Let’s see, Dec. 24th., Dec 31st and Monday and Tuesday of Carnival. When was the last time you did not take one of those?
So, where are the whistles in the “revolutionary” Bill? They are in an extra eight weeks of leave when you give birth, increasing it from twelve to twenty weeks, the elimination of outsourcing and the fact that a worker is only temporary for the first month.
Jeez, what a Bombastic Bill (yes, with a capital B on Bombastic), all that celebration for so little. Chavismo saw directly into the eyes of the old Bill, cried foul, but had no clue about what it said. Numbers are just not their forte, ask Giordani, he is the expert. Chavez offered, they celebrated, and now they are waking up from their drunkward spree to find out they are not much better off than they were.
Oh yes, there will be fines and even jail in some cases if you don’t obey the law. Curiously, it is the Government that will not be able to comply with the details of the new Labor Bill. But we know Justice does not apply to them.
A revolutionary rip-off if I have ever seen one. Trabajadores y Trabajadoras.