Note of the Editorial Board: The comrades of the UIT-CI have launched an appeal to defend Jose Bodas, a trade union leader in Venezuela, against the threat of dismissal. The RCIT fully supports this appeal.
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By C-CURA (Classist, Unitary, Revolutionary and Autonomous Current)
Through social networks and other means, has circulated the rumour of a probable dismissal of Jose Bodas from PDVSA. Bodas is a refinery worker at Puerto La Cruz, in the state of Anzoategui, with 31 years of service in our main industry, plant operator, and general secretary of the Unitary Federation of Oil Workers (FUTPV), elected by the oil workers, in the Classist, Unitary, Revolutionary and Autonomous Current slate.
Bodas, together with the workers of the Puerto la Cruz refinery, was the architect in the confrontation to the oil strike-sabotage in 2002, orchestrated by the meritocracy of PDVSA, linked to the bosses’ parties and to the U.S. imperialism. These actions made it possible for the Puerto La Cruz refinery not to stop during the two months of the strike-sabotage.
Two weeks ago, there was a direct threat against Comrade Jose Bodas, with the argument that he did not have his union permit up to date; We stopped this when the written permits were sent to the management. However, in recent days, rumours of his dismissal have become more and more insistent.
Jose Bodas is a leader of the Classist, Unitary, Revolutionary and Autonomous Current, which has taken the lead in defending the rights of oil workers, demanding decent wages, fighting for the fulfilment of the collective contract, against the 9030 Equilibrium Factor, defending the rights of workers on the major payroll, and all workers in the oil industry.
Along with many combative and class workers in our main industry, Bodas has been at the forefront in denouncing the situation of operative disaster in which PDVSA finds itself. Likewise, he denounced the bureaucratic leadership of the Futpv, headed by Wills Rangel, who has knelt down to the bosses, along with most of the federation board.
Delivering our collective contracts and all our rights, plunging the workers of PDVSA into the most absolute misery, earning starvation wages.
Comrade Bodas, together with Fran Luna, also director of Futpv and leader of C-CURA, are recognised nationally in all oil areas as the most consistent fighters for the rights and demands of the oil working class.
In the areas, in the gates, throughout the country, in the media, in social networks, their position has been one of unwavering commitment to the working class bases. Its political position has been clear and transparent. Guided by the need to maintain the political independence of the workers from any bosses’ party, he has no link with the bosses’ parties in the opposition led by Juan Guaido; he publicly repudiated imperialist interference and any foreign interference in our internal affairs, but he has also confronted the policy of the national government.
They want to take Bodas out of the political-union game because the current leadership of Futpv knows that in a new electoral process, they would probably lose with Bodas and the C-CURA slate. We are clear that they want to charge him for his unwavering commitment to the oil workers. Any action against the executive of Futpv would be a retaliation for his stand in defence of the oil workers’s demands.
The national government develops a policy of persecution of the union leadership and the workers who fight in defence of their rights. This criminalisation of protest is now a common practice in PDVSA, and in all public companies, and against the different popular sectors that mobilise for their rights in the country.
This aims to continue applying the austerity package the government has been implementing since last year. That is why in PDVSA and other public institutions, they have fired workers, forced retirement, protected illegal suspensions in private companies, criminalised and repressed peasants, youth and popular sectors that fight for food and public services. The willingness of all workers to struggle remains intact, and with the mobilisation we will defeat the government’s attempt to silence our demands.
We will be in the gates, in the docks, in the refineries, in the drills, in the offices, in all the areas next to the active workers and pensioners. We will continue to do what we have always done: fight side by side with those from below, together with the workers, alongside those who fight for their rights.
We must repudiate these threats against Bodas. We call on the oil workers and all the workers of the country, even internationally, the trade union leaders and democratic social leaders to reject these threats of dismissal against Jose Bodas. There have already been pronouncements by union leaders against these threats. We also call on the FUTPV leadership to reject these threats and not to make these rumours of dismissal a reality.