BWI affiliates in Venezuela reported that they are complying with the government’s COVID-19 measures to prevent the spread of the virus in their country. The SUNTIMAVEN, FETRAMAQUIPES, FENATCS and FETRACONSTRUCCION all said that they are implementing the said measures which took effect since the start of the country’s lockdown last 17 March. They said that the lockdown will last until 13 April.
Venezuela, a country characterized in recent years as suffering from a political and economic crisis, is trying to ensure the wages of workers both in the public and private sectors. The unions said that while the measure covers construction and wood workers under formal contracts, it doesn’t cover independent and informal workers, which are 90% of construction working force.
On 20 February, construction worker unions signed a new collective agreement with the Venezuelan Chamber of Construction providing a 500% wage increase to workers as an urgent measure to mitigate the economic impact the country’s souring inflation. However, the increase continues to be insufficient compared to the current cost of living in the country.