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Fedepetrol: die Mehrheit der Mitglieder lehnt einen Streik ab


Rafael Rosales, Vorsitzender von Fedepetrol, dem Zusammenschluss von 52 Betriebsgewerkschaften der Arbeiter des Ölsektors, hat am 17.10 in einem Radiointerview bekannt gegeben, dass die Mehrheit ihrer Mitglieder den Streik, den die proamerikanische Gewerkschaftszentrale CTV für Montag den 21.Oktober ausgerufen hat ablehnt.

"Noch ist die Entscheidung nicht gefallen" sagte Rosales, "aber ich spreche von eindeutigen Mehrheiten bei der internen Befragung, ich spreche von 85 Prozent etwa". Zwar würden einige der angeschlossenen Betriebsgewerkschaften wohl den Streik unterstützen, wie es auch die CTV behauptet - aber eben eine Minderheit.

Auch die staatlichen Grossbetriebe in der Aluminium- und Stahlbranche werden sich nicht am Streik beteiligen - die Gewerkschaftsvorstände sehen, wie der von Fedepetrol, im Streik ein "politisches Ultimatum" das sie nicht mittragen wollen. Die jeweiligen Angestelltengewerkschaften haben sich unterschiedlich positioniert. Somit stehe zu erwarten, dass die wirtschaftlichen Auswirkungen des Streiks begrenzt sein werden. Der Handel dürfte der Sektor sein, der am stärksten bestreikt wird.

Venezuela oil union says most members oppose strike

CARACAS, Venezuela, Oct 17 (Reuters) - The head of Venezuela's main oil workers' union said Thursday the majority of members would not support a 12-hour national strike called for next Monday by opponents of left-wing President Hugo Chavez.

Foes of the populist president, who was elected in 1998 and survived a brief coup in April, have called the nationwide shutdown in the world's No. 5 oil exporter to pressure Chavez to resign and hold early elections. He has refused.

Rafael Rosales, president of Fedepetrol, which groups 52 unions representing blue collar oil workers across the country, said the federation's national leadership would announce their decision on the strike later Thursday.

"But on the basis of a survey, I can tell you that the majority, and quite a big majority, has practically already said in advance that they are not going to support this stoppage," Rosales told local Union Radio. "We're talking about almost 85 percent," he added.

Venezuela's Energy Ministry has said that even if some oil workers do join the strike called by anti-Chavez labor and business leaders, there are contingency plans to ensure that the country's strategic oil exports keep flowing.

Oil sales by the state-run oil sector account for up to 50 percent of government revenues and 80 percent of export revenues.

However, one of the strike organizers, Froilan Barrios of the anti-Chavez Venezuelan Workers' Confederation (CTV), told Union Radio that many oil unions would join the strike, especially in the western oil-producing state of Zulia. But he did not specify numbers.

Fedepetrol's Rosales described the strike as a "political ultimatum" by opponents of Chavez and said it did not focus on specific labor issues. But he acknowledged that some Fedepetrol affiliates might join the protest stoppage.

Groups representing white collar workers in the state oil firm PDVSA, which took part in a pre-coup anti-Chavez strike in April that badly disrupted Venezuelan oil shipments, said that individual PDVSA executives and employees should be free to take part in Monday's stoppage if they wished. But they added that "indispensable services" which included oil export operations and the security of the country's oil installations should be maintained.

The strategic oil industry, and other state-run basic industries producing aluminum and steel, are expected to keep working during Monday's stoppage, reducing the economic impact of the protest.

But many shops and businesses are expected to close, although anti-Chavez business leaders have complained that hard-line supporters of the president have threatened to loot the premises of any business that stays closed.

The government, which has condemned the strike as part of a continued plot to overthrow Chavez, says it will guarantee law and order during the planned opposition shutdown.

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