The Minister of Energy and Mines Rafael Ramirez demonstrated that he does not recognize the law, when today he called for the PDVSA workers to be kicked out of the oil camps, which no Court has ordered, as well as saying that it would be “unfair” to pay the fired workers severance pay, as the law mandates. Severance pay is such an integral part of labor laws (for good or bad, it is simply that way) that the law says you can not seize severance pay legally in any way. Moreover, workers have not been paid their savings in voluntary pension plans, which are also theirs. The Minsiter wants to argue that these workers did damage to the country and thus should not get their money. This includes 18,000 fired workers, including secretaries. Legally you would have to prove that each individual did damage and that the value of the damage is higher than their savings, their severance could not be touched.
Now, what appears to me to be shortsighted is that any upcoming Government could deny Minister Ramirez his severance and his pension, because it will be very easy to prove that HE has done damage to PDVSA and that such damage is more than what is owed him, that he is an incompetent and a liar and that he has violated repeatedly the rights of the company’s workers. To think that these guys claim to be running a compassionate revolution. What a farse!