Saturday, July 17, 2010

Venezuelan union clashes are on the rise as Chavez fosters new unions at odds with older ones

Washington Post
July 15, 2010

Calling itself the most labor-friendly government in Latin America, President Hugo Chávez's socialist administration has repeatedly increased the minimum wage, turned over the management of some nationalized companies to workers and fostered the creation of new unions.

But labor leaders and human rights groups say the government's efforts have had a dark side. About 75 union members have been shot dead in the past two years as the new unions -- many of them pro-Chávez -- and traditional unions battle it out, making Venezuela among the world's most dangerous countries for labor activists.