The National Trade Union of Professional, Technician and Administrative Workers in the Wood and Allied Industries of Venezuela (SUNTIMAVEN) has reached an agreement with Masisa, a wood products company, to secure the incomes and benefits of its workers as provided by their collective bargaining agreement amidst a COVID-19 lockdown. The agreement covers all regular workers at raw material processing plants located in the southern part of the country, as well as other factories that are part of the production chain.
SUNTIMAVEN said that except for the company’s essential process operators, all workers were sent home to comply with the lockdown. The union said that it successfully negotiated with the company to reinforce its health and safety measures for essential workers, including the strict implementation of physical distancing.
However, Alexander Briceño, President of SUNTIMAVEN, lamented that while the said measures protect regular workers, contractual workers in many countries don’t enjoy the same benefits and are vulnerable during the lockdowns.
Operations of Venezuela’s timber industry in Venezuela have been put on hold since 17 March and will remain so until further notice. This situation is adding to the country's political crisis and economic problems, especially with the weakening of its industrial infrastructure and the crashing of oil prices.
As of May 06, Venezuela has 323 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths, one of the lowest in the region.