Venezuela: ILO Commission of Inquiry conducted hearings in Geneva
Roberto Suárez Santos
María Paz Anzorreguy
Director of ILO Coordination
IOE and the Venezuelan Employers’ Association, FEDECAMARAS, do not give up and continue to push for Government compliance with the ratified Conventions on freedom of association, tripartite consultation and minimum wage.
The ILO Commission of Inquiry held hearings with IOE, FEDECAMARAS and representatives from the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in early May. The hearings took place following longstanding complaints by FEDECAMARAS that allege the Government failed to comply with the ILO Conventions No. 26 (Minimum Wage-Fixing Machinery Convention, 1928 ), No. 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 ) and No. 144 (Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards), 1976 ).
In March 2018, the Governing Body expressed deep concern about the lack of progress in tackling the alleged attacks, harassment, aggression and a campaign to discredit the employers’ organisation – FEDECAMARAS – its leaders and affiliates.
The Commission of Inquiry is responsible for carrying out a full investigation of the complaint, ascertaining all the facts of the case and making recommendations on measures to be taken to address the problems raised.
The May hearings were an opportunity for the Commission to collect written and oral submissions; receive evidence and cross-examine witnesses with regards to the allegations presented by IOE and FEDECAMARAS and the responses received from the Government.
IOE and FEDECAMARAS took the opportunity to present new facts to the Commission to prove the continuous and serious violations of ratified Conventions and to shed light on the continuous denial of the Government representatives.
In its concluding remarks IOE stated that first and foremost the Government should immediately stop with all acts of violence, intimidation and threat against FEDECAMARAS, its member Federations and leaders. There cannot be genuine freedom of association, social dialogue and tripartite consultation if the most representative and independent employer organisation in Venezuela, FEDECAMARAS, is under threat or targeted attack.
The Commission will continue to work hard to prepare its report for Governing Body consideration in November 2019.