According to the latest data offered by the Ministry of Labor in 2019, by 2018 66% of the country’s trade union organizations were victims of electoral delay, so they cannot defend the rights of the workers they represent.
The National Electoral Council (CNE) published the Resolution No. 220425-023 in the Electoral Gazette No. 1012, in which it is ordered to lift the suspension of administrative electoral procedures in trade union and union matters dependent on this body.
This text repeals the Resolution No. 200701-0030published on July 1, 2020, in which it was decided to keep these processes suspended despite the reactivation of administrative activities of the CNE in the context of the covid-19 quarantine to comply with the electoral schedule for the parliamentary elections of that year .
In this way, the CNE opens its doors once again to receive trade union and professional organizations that wish to move forward with the procedures for their renewal of authorities.
The director of the Venezuelan Observatory of Freedom of Association (Ovlis), Jacqueline Richter, explained to SuchWhich that with this measure the CNE resumes the direction of the processes. «The CNE once again receives requests for elections and appeals for challenges to electoral processes. It is going back to the situation before the pandemic. It is the CNE directing the processes », he clarified.
In other words, the resolution does not mean that it is the end of the electoral delay. In fact, days before, the CNE shared a statement in which it states that the Commission for Political Participation and Financing (Copafi) will restart the consultancies “of an electoral legal and technical nature” to promote and accompany the renewal electoral processes.
With this, we return to the status quo prior to the pandemic, where organizations had to face legal obstacles to renew their authorities, thanks to the tactics used by Chavismo through the Public Powers.
The most remembered precedent occurred in January 2015, the date on which the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) accepted a request for precautionary protection filed by three workers from the Orinoco Steel Company (Sidor), in which they denounced alleged irregularities in the renewal of union authorities at that time.
This injunction served as a justification to annul the renewal of the authorities of the Single Union of Iron and Steel Workers (Sutiss), one of the largest unions in the country, with some 15,000 affiliated workers. Since then no elections have been held.
As a result of these strategies, 66% of union organizations were victims of electoral delay in 2018. The most recent figures are due from the Ministry of Labor, which reported these numbers to the International Labor Organization (ILO) in 2019, in the context of the report of the Commission of Inquiry on Venezuela.
This decision to give continuity to the administrative procedures in union and trade union matters within the CNE takes place in the context of a social dialogue forum with businessmen and employers, under the supervision of the ILO.
The electoral delay was one of the elements discussed during the visit of the ILO commission that supervised dialogue tables between Monday, April 25 and Thursday, April 29.
Experts in labor law maintain that the electoral delay is the main stumbling block, since as a result of the renewal of the authorities it is possible to advance in other aspects.
This is because a union with expired terms cannot defend the rights of the workers it represents, as it does not have the authority to negotiate with its employers.