Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the Dec. 12, 1996 issue of Workers World newspaper
A 48-hour general strike by public-sector workers in Venezuela turned into a drawn-out conflict between unions and the government over unpaid bonuses. About 1.3 million workers went out on strike on Nov. 19 demanding payments amounting to $213 million that the government promised in February.
Hundreds of thousands of workers continued the strike for a week after the strike was supposed to end. Carlos Borges, president of the Federation of Public Sector Workers, warned on Nov. 29 that if the payments were not received by Dec. 2, "the conflicts will grow, union actions will be reinforced and things could get out of control."
Public-sector workers earn an average of $106 a month, and annual inflation in Venezuela has been running at over 100 percent. Unions have also demanded that the minimum monthly wage for public-sector workers be doubled.
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