Last week the workers of the refractory brick factory of Ceramica Carabobo held another protest trying to get Chavez’ attention to their plight. These guys continue to be pro-Government, which is remarkable, despite the fact that while Chavez did do what they wanted, it has all been downhill since then.
It all started in April 2009, at a meeting with Chavista union leaders, Chavez bombastically announced the nationalization of a bunch of companies, mostly those that made hot iron briquettes for which the Government provided the iron ore. This was done at the request of the Chavista union. Thrown in the nationalization pot was the refractory brick factory owned by Ceramica Carabobo, which sold most of its product to Sidor.
Jorge Giordani was there with his stupid smile of victory over capitalism that he always exhibits in these events, but this was the last time the workers smiled.
Of the 190 workers of the factory, 60 have resigned by now. Sidor went through the inventory and used up all of the refractory bricks that were there when the Argentineans left. When they ran out, surprise, surprise, they started importing the refractory bricks from Brazil and Argentina.
The happy workers, the nationalizers, stopped getting paid, the factory was shut down. They are still owed money today. The Governor of the State began giving the food so they could survived. The protests started and in December the Minister of basic Industries said he would fix the problem.
Except for a small salary, smaller than the minimum salary, nothing happened, the workers staged protests in March and now are back at it, including threats of a hunger strike.
The factory remains closed. Sidor keeps importing refractory bricks.
The destruction of Venezuela by the Chavez Government continues, one factory at a time.