An array of labor unions have totally rejected the new CVG-Bauxilum president's "final final" offer of Bs.F 80 million (roughly US$40 million) to pay-off suppliers, contractors and labor liabilities that currently amount to well over $300 million ... one of the union leaders at Bauxilum, Antonio Rivas, says "our jobs must not be allowed to die, because we will no longer give in to this situation -- it would be irresponsible of us to be accomplices to what is happening!"
- Despite the uncertainty of his 'interim' tenure, Arcila remains obstinate and refuses to meet with labor representatives until they give in to his edict. He says that further delay in their acceptance of his Bs.F 80 million offer -- described as derisory by unions and shop-floor managers -- "will put at risk the operation of equipment by the lack of due attention every day." He adds "I have made my pronouncement on the conflict, and there will be no more proposals above and beyond 80 million!"
Arcila goes further to claim that the current strike does NOT affect the supply of alumina feed stocks to Alcasa and Venalum and that the union demands originate from "political sectors linked to the opposition" and that they form "part of a destabilization plan" against the Chavez government.
Astonishingly he says that one needs only to review local media coverage "to know who the ring-leaders are " but that "steps are being taken" to combat what he is substantially quoted as saying are "criminal" protest actions which are "injurious to the national patrimony."
"I cannot understand why the (union) leadership has rejected the offer, which will remain open. If they do not accept it, there will be a gradual deterioration of the factory," Arcila adds insisting that President Hugo Chavez has said that he is doing "everything necessary." He also rejects what he describes as rumors of Rodolfo Sanz' dismissals from both the CVG corporate presidency and the Ministry of Basic Industries & Mining (Mibam) ... he says the rumors are getting "stranger and stranger" and that he (Arcila) and Sanz "are alive and kicking."
Roy S. Carson
Venezuela is facing the most difficult period of its history with honest reporters crippled by sectarianism on top of rampant corruption within the administration and beyond, aided and abetted by criminal forces in the US and Spanish governments which cannot accept the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to decide over their own future.
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