afternoon of Wednesday, January 29 (Venezuelan time), two workers
were killed by police in the state of Anzoategui, Venezuela. The
workers killed are Pedro Suarez from the Mitsubishi factory and José
Marcano from nearby auto parts factory Macusa. They were killed when
regional police of Anzoategui was attempting to evict hundreds of workers
who had been occupying the Mitsubitshi (MMC) factory.
The workers of Mitsubitshi had
occupied the plant on the 22nd
of January. The immediate
reason was that 135 workers working in the factory but hired through
subcrontractor Induservis, were left without jobs when the MMC
management decided to
stop any cooperation with Induservis. In an mass meeting of Mitsubitshi
with 893 workes present, 863 voted in favour of occupation. While
demanding that the 135 sacked workers be re-incorporated as full
contracted workers in the Mitsubitshi plant, the workers also linked
their struggle to the demand for nationalization as the only solution
to the conflicts in the factories Vivex, Franelas Gotcha, Industria
Nacional de Artículos de Ferretería (INAF) and Acerven.
The break-up of the factory occupation
was demanded by a judge who showed up with a decree for immedeate
eviction. However, the workers resisted and the police attacked the
workers with force. They fired at the workers with live ammunition, killing two workers
and wounding several more. This situation was brought to a halt when
the National Guard intervened and stopped the regional police. Thus
the workers are still inside the plant, but the judge demands that
they go ahead with the forced eviction.
state government of Anzoategui is run by Bolivarian governor Tarek
William Saab. The brutal action of the judge and the Anzoategui police
is completely unjustified. The Anzoategui police was already used in
repression against oil workers fighting for their contract last year,
and it is basically the same police force with the same commanders
which was there before the revolution. Governor Tarek William Saab and
the Venezuelan government of president Chavez must open an immediate
investigation into these events and bring those responsible to trial.
The workers occupying the Mitsubishi plant
were all Bolivarians and many of them had pledged themselves as active
campaigners for the constitutional reform referendum on February 15.
They had received widespread support for their demands in the regional
and national trade union movement. Delegations from Toyota and Ford
workers had visited them in the last few days and workers at those
plants are discussing occupying them in solidarity.
We ask all trade union, youth and solidarity activists around the world to:
send messages of support to the workers at: Freteco:
, Sindicato Nueva Generación, MMC:
send messages the Anzoategui governor demanding an immediate
stop of all violence against workers and that those responsible for the
killing of the two workers be brought to justice immediately, email the
and those who can speak Spanish to call Dalia Vega, head of the governor’s office on + 58 281 2701405-2701406
send messages to the Venezuelan Bolivarian government, embassies
and consulates asking for an immediate and full investigation of these
events, the nationalisation of Vivex and the satisfaction of the
demands of the MMC workers (contact the Office of the President at
We would like to express our outrage at the killing of two workers by
the Anzoategui Police in Venezuela. The workers were killed during an
attempt to evict them from the Mitsubishi Motor Company plant which
they had been occupying since January 22.
This was a brutal and unjustified killing of unarmed workers who
were only trying to defend their jobs and livelihoods and who are part
of the Bolivarian revolutionary movement. Their only crime was to
defend their co-workers, subcontracted to Induservi, 135 of whom had
been made redundant in violation of the decree against mass lay-offs
dictated by the Bolivarian government of president Hugo Chávez.
We demand that:
- there should be no more violence against the workers of MMC
or any other group of workers in struggle, and that all legal action
against them should be suspended.
there should be a full enquiry to find out who gave the order to fire
on unarmed workers and that those responsible be brought to justice.
the governor of Anzoategui Tarek William Saab and the national
government of President Hugo Chávez must make a public statement on
Long live the Bolivarian Revolution
Long live the workers’ struggle
- Venezuela: Inveval workers visit Vivex by El Militante Venezuela (December 10, 2008)
- Venezuela: “We have gone from the immediate demands to workers’ control” by El Militante Venezuela (December 5, 2008)
- Venezuela: Vivex workers take over the factory and demand nationalisation by Jorge Martin (December 4, 2008)