March again today, banks threatened?

December 20, 2002

There will be a large march again in Carcas from various points in the city, as PDVSA workers meet at this time to have their lawyers explain to them the extent of the decision of the Supreme Court yesterday. The worker’s lawyers continue to interpret that the decision applies only to the actions of the decrees explicitly mentioned in the decision and is not an order to go back to work, as interpreted by the Government. Even in that case, the decision is only valid once it is published (Monday?) and it looks like the audience to make a final decision will be on Tuesday anyway. the deciosion says:” all authorities and private individuals will have to comply with all decrees issued by the Government to help start the PDVSA activities”. This, the lawyers say, means that they are valid as long as the Court says they are not illegal. The decrees are mentioned by number and most of the deal with the militarization of PDVSA, thus, the interpretation is that in no way it applies to the workers. The lawyers go even further saying that it is not the Association of oil workers that should go to the audience by the Court as the people, as individuials, have joined the strike, not as part of their association. Furtehrmore, the Court does not say their rights to strike, free expression, etc. are limited or suspended.

Separately, the Head of the workers union (CTV) Carlos Ortega said he had a copy of a decree the Government was considering issuing to force the banking system to go back to its regular schedule. According to Ortega, the penalty for not obeying the decree would be to intervene the bank and remove all of its Directors.  

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