The New Labor Bill: Lots Of Smoke And Mirrors And Few Whistles

May 3, 2012

For thirteen years we heard the promises of a new Labor Bill to return to workers what had been robbed. For thirteen year the mandate to go back to retroactivity was ignored. For months we have been hearing what a glorious day this was going to be for workers. There were celebrations. Not until the Bill was signed did we learn the details. And now we learn:

The Bill has lots of smoke and mirrors, but in the end, it has few whistles.

Take the promise to go back to retroactivity. As Petkoff explains today in his Editorial, it turns out that the “bad” system is better, unless you have worked for the same company for a long time, something like thirteen years. Thus, in the end, most Venezuelan workers will see nothing new going forward, Chavez changed very little, the “bad” old system was better, thus the law lets you choose between the two. Bt most likely you will take the old “bad” law, not the revolutionary one.

However, remember those interest rates on severance, which used to be paid at the average between the lending rate and the savings rate?

Well, the revolution now shortchanged workers by saying it will beat  the much lower savings rate from now on. And the workers probably don’t yet know it, after all the hullabaloo about the greatest Labor Bill on Earth of the last few days.

And remember how excited you were by the work week being shortened by four hours a week?

Shucks, it only applies if you work more than 40 hours a week.

And remember the Government managed pension fund?

Well, when 75% of private workers took their money out when the news leaked, the Government decided to make it optional. Which means that most people will continue to use the “old” and “bad” system of having your company deposit the money in a bank where you will have quick access to your money.

And the extra holidays by Law?

Let’s see, Dec. 24th., Dec 31st and Monday and Tuesday of Carnival. When was the last time you did not take one of those?

So, where are the whistles in the “revolutionary” Bill? They are in an extra eight weeks of leave when you give birth, increasing it from twelve to twenty weeks, the elimination of outsourcing and the fact that a worker is only temporary for the first month.

Jeez, what a Bombastic Bill (yes, with a capital B on Bombastic), all that celebration for so little. Chavismo saw directly into the eyes of the old Bill, cried foul, but had no clue about what it said. Numbers are just not their forte, ask Giordani, he is the expert. Chavez offered, they celebrated, and now they are waking up from their drunkward spree to find out they are not much better off than they were.

Oh yes, there will be fines and even jail in some cases if you don’t obey the law. Curiously, it is the Government that will not be able to comply with the details of the new Labor Bill. But we know Justice does not apply to them.

A revolutionary rip-off if I have ever seen one. Trabajadores y Trabajadoras.

40 Responses to “The New Labor Bill: Lots Of Smoke And Mirrors And Few Whistles”

  1. metodex Says:

    How do you explain this to people? People don’t like investigating,they like being told stuff. They already told el pueblo that this was the best law in the world,and they cheered and celebrated,because in their minds, it is.

  2. moctavio Says:

    Almost impossible to do, that’s the beauty of it and Chavez has discovered it, Had the details been known ahead of time, people would have made noise, now, not even opposition people know the whole thing is scam and they focus on the wrong issues.

  3. Rojorojito Says:

    Yeah, like chavez s about to die. Hahahahahaha!!!!!!

    • NicaCat56 Says:

      Hey, Rr, I have an idea: why don’t you leave and go play with the kids your own age? You know, the kindergartners? Obviously, you’re out of your league, as well as your age, here. Go kick sand in someone else’s eyes.

      • Isa Says:

        Nica; Rojo rojito just comes here to express his infantile feelings o try to annoy, much like his infantile admiration as a good PSF for Huguito. Typical stupidity of the adoring silly crowd, he does not even read the posts.

    • deananash Says:

      You know, he just doesn’t bother me. Granted I don’t have skin in the game, but I LOVE hearing from people who disagree with me.

      And in this case, I think he’s right. (Rojo, don’t get too excited, even a broken clock is right twice a day.)

      We ( the opposition) do spend too much time wishing and not enough time doing. And there’s plenty to do. There are plenty in the middle (the Ni-Ni’s) who need more education. Where do we think that they are going to get it from?

      The mocking (three strikes) of a couple of years ago was highly effective and educational, seeing as it reminded people of all that Chavez has promised and hasn’t delivered.

      I’m just saying….

  4. Luis Peña Says:

    I haven´t read the law yet, but listening to the people on the street (well on public transport) i heard comments like: The severance payment for the people from day one (those in period test) and an increment (almost doubling) the amount of severance payment for people who lost their jobs in the past. Just in one day.
    What this shows is that even if the law is just smoke and mirrors people is looking into them. To cite an action movie: They bought it. Hook, line… and sinker. (http://wavs.unclebubby.com/wav/MOVIES/DieHard/DieHardWithaVengance/hooklinesinker_dh3.wav)
    How do you expect to challenge something NOW that the people won’t see its real consequences until long past the October election?

  5. NET Says:

    Someone said there are some 550 articles in the Law, of which we only know a handful. Is the devil in the details, e.g. like worker committee vigilance/control of company profits???

  6. JB Lenoir Says:

    Actually, the Consejo de Estado does have a token military officer, described by my army friends as just one more mediocre officer who found fortune in joining the revolucion boludoriana so he could steal. Go figure. Rangel bears watching. Possibly also Jaua. Chaderton is there because he’s practically the only career diplomat left in the Cancilleria and presumably he ‘knows’ official Washington, DC. But besides Rangel and Jaua the rest of the consejo’s members including Chaderton, Mundarain, etc. are a bunch of ‘si mi comandante’ bootlickers.

    • m_astera Says:

      “boludoriana” LOL. That is a keeper, worth using.

    • VJ Says:

      You are off topic…. Now we are talking about the LOT !
      Admiral Carlos Giacopini is the youngest son of the very distinguished Venezuelan public man Jose Giacopini Zarraga and comes from a family with “Pedigree”. In the Escuela Naval de Venezuela, he ranked among the best cadets so was send to the Italian Navy Academy, in Livorno, where he graduated in 1982. He is a historian, expert on the matters of the Venezuelan Navy and well regarded as a gentleman.
      I know what I´m writting about because myself come from the Navy. So please think about what Metodex above says: “People don’t like investigating,they like being told stuff.”

      • syd Says:

        you’re right. council issues are off-topic.

      • Kepler Says:

        Navy…pedigree…big deal…it’s not like it’s rocket science…
        geez, where are we? In the Middle Ages?
        No…in Venezuela.
        Un milico es un milico.

        • syd Says:

          Middle Ages? No. Let me explain it this way. Your beloved von Humboldt circulated in pedigreed circles. Nothing’s changed.

          • Kepler Says:

            Syd,
            Humboldt was more interested in merit and ideas, not on who was of what “pedigree”. Indeed in those times he was more bound to be received by the X de Toro and Y de Tovar, than an unknown, but Humboldt basically made fun of the titles and the showing off.

    • NET Says:

      I believe the Consejo de Estado subject is and will prove to be a more important one than the LOT, and merits a full blog discussion on its own.

      • VJ Says:

        I agree, this regime “No da puntada sin dedal”. We need a full blog discussion on this matter of the Consejo de Estado.

  7. syd Says:

    Is it just me, or does the term “state council” have an ominous ring to it? Barring bolibanana considerations, the term is used in the People’s Rep. of China http://english.gov.cn/2008-03/16/content_921792.htm. The term has also been used in war (council of war, supreme war council, etc.).

    • CharlesC Says:

      Why does everyone act so shocked- even I as littleas I know about the
      Soviet Union and Cuba, and other dictatorships and their garbage filled
      “constitutions” know these things.

      • syd Says:

        “Why does everyone act so shocked ..”

        Only you are imagining that “everyone” is so shocked, Charles. The rest of us are simply trying to understand, by reasonable discussion, what this all means, within a mixed-up political context. Thank you for your concern.

  8. Kepler Says:

    These thugs love the word “council”. Remember, council is “soviet” in Russian.
    The Государственный Совет or state council is what Gorgachov set up to try to fix the mess…but there were many “councils” from the very early days of the communist dictatorship (not that we had even crappy socialism, it’s vulgar Chavismo at best)
    I suppose they do want to give it a “civil” taint. Every time people have started to rumour, Chávez has used the magic word “cívico militar”…as if there were some kind of love marriage with that…and now he wants to show more of the supposedly “civil” character…with guys who are among the most sycophants he could find. Even this may leave the military thugs a little bit pissed off

  9. Dr. Faustus Says:

    Let me offer another suggestion as to why the new Labor Law is indeed nothing more than ‘smoke and mirrors.’ Most of the discretionary funds available to the Venezuelan government have already been squandered. Therefore, there are few new funds avaiable for things like increased pensions or disability payments for the injured. The money isn’t there anymore. If you combine the paltry offerings of the LOT with that excellent posting on Caracas Chronicles on the government ‘squeezing’ funds out of the few remaining corporate concerns left in Venezuela, providing for some of the highest corporate tax rates in the world (!), you will understand that the Chavistas have finally shaken-down every ‘golden goose’ in Venezuela to a point where there is nothing left but,…a few feathers. The money isn’t there. That’s the true ‘smoke and mirrors.’ And the money in FONDEN and BANDES went where?….doing what?

    Final scary thought: If there is one thing consistent about the Chavez government, it is their unique ability to ‘never’ plan for the future. There are no economic cycles; it’s just …forward! If you read today’s Petroleumworld you will see an article about the Blackstone Group who are now predicting a drop in the price of oil because of oversupply and slowing world economies. Guess what? The price of oil dropped 5 dollars a barrel today, under 100 for the first time in many months, and could tumble into the 80’s by summer. Far fetched? Perhaps. But that contingency may not be on the drawing boards over at PDVSA.

    • NET Says:

      Apart from economic slowing, there is at least a $20 premium in today’s oil price for the Iran contingency…

    • moctavio Says:

      You don’t understand, this is a religion, Christ or Chavez will provide “another miracle”

      • CharlesC Says:

        You are exactly right! And, I believe a percentage (1/3)of el pueblo are expecting some sort of miracle -right now!

  10. Johnny Walking Says:

    “A partir de la entrada en vigencia de la Ley Orgánica del Trabajo de los Trabajadores y Trabajadoras, se disfrutarán de CUATRO DIAS FERIADOS ADICIONALES a los que disponía la normativa vigente.

    El lunes y martes de carnaval, así como el 24 y 31 de diciembre, serán considerados feriados y por lo tanto se suspenderán las labores y permanecerán cerradas para el público las entidades de trabajo sin que se pueda efectuar en ellos TRABAJOS DE NINGUNA ESPECIE, salvo las excepciones previstas en esta Ley.”

    Aci, aci, aci ez que ce gobielna! Venezuela: the regional power of “curdita y playita.”

    • syd Says:

      If Dec. 24 falls on a Monday, that means there’s a total shutdown of production facilities for TWO weeks.


  11. Совет literally means advice.
    Red – krasnaya – also means beauty [beautiful].
    Verdi – might sound exotic to non-Italians,
    it simply means ‘green’.
    Let’s not read too much into words, bla-bla is still bla-bla.

    • Kepler Says:

      advice or council. Just like Spanish: consejo.
      The krasnaja was from old Russian and does not come to the topic here, much less other thing. All I am saying is these thugs love the concept of “councils”, which are basically groups that do whatever the top tells them to do, they are executors in a charade of “representatives”, which they aren’t of anything but of the top.


    • Very true, Kepler.
      Even looking back to the tacky ‘Rep Bolivariana de’ –
      Did it open the floodgates of patriotism,
      did it help him start a conflict with Colombia?
      But it did add gallons of ink to all those self important decrees.
      He should have dropped his mask then and there, and
      Called it ‘Rep Chavista de’ and his Consejos would have
      even rubberstamped his overlicked ass in that instant
      of adoration.
      Now it’s all history.
      All that’s left is a decaying
      piece of cancerous flesh,
      slowly rotting into insignificance.
      Cheers.

  12. syd Says:

    Well, isn’t the Lottttt special. Whereas the invention of an employee, on the job in a state-funded organization, becomes the sole property of the state (with a few crumbs shown to the inventor by way of “reconocimiento” — no word on the duration of that recognition (art. 325) — in a privately-funded organization, the invention becomes the sole property of the inventor. The boss who risked capital in building that company, and who provided the environment, which stimulated the worker’s intellectual design, can exploit that innovation during the worker’s employment. That worker has UNLIMITED rights to his or her creation (art. 326) throughout its use and during the work relationship. Once it ends, the boss cannot consider acquiring the innovation until 90 days has passed, and a Work Inspector has approved it.

    Oh brother. Socialism = equal rights for all.

    I can only see this new law as fertile ground for lawyers, assuming a just rule of law, which as we all know, doesn’t exist in Vzla.

    • Johnny Walking Says:

      Well, this article belongs to the realm of the anecdotal, perhaps something to make jokes about. I don’t think anything significant has been invented in Venezuela in the past 14 years.

      • syd Says:

        True, though inventions don’t have to be significant.
        (Mire jefe, si apretamos este tornillo, aumentará la producción.)

        I think whoever makes ‘plaquitas de reconocimiento’ is going to do a booming business.


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