VENEZUELA: Occupied factory nationalised

May 4, 2005

Simon Cunich

The demands of the workers at Venezuela's valve producing company, Constructora Nacional de Valvulas, were met on April 27, as President Hugo Chavez signed a decree to nationalise the company. This signing came days after the workers had organised a march to the National Assembly to present a resolution outlining their demands for nationalisation under workers' control.

The nationalisation ends a struggle to restore production that has lasted more than two years. The factory was closed by its owner Andres Sosa Pietri in December 2002, during a nationwide campaign of economic sabotage, led by the country's big business owners, aimed at destabilising the Chavez government.

The closure left 120 workers without an income. In February this year, 63 of these workers occupied the premises and began demanding the company be nationalised and placed under workers' control.

After the decree was signed, Jorge Paredes, one of the workers leading the campaign, said: "This process of co-management that we now start must be taken to other companies and other workers." According to the workers, production should be resumed within three months.

From Green Left Weekly, May 4, 2005.
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