Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Vzla: Workers illegally fired for signing recall petition

Venezuela's labor minister denied opposition statements that thousands of workers have been fired for signing petitions seeking to recall President Hugo Chavez, saying it would be illegal for government agencies to do so.

Labor Minister Maria Cristina Iglesias said in a televised press conference that the government will uphold all worker rights. Iglesias said that her ministry hasn't received one formal complaint about workers being fired for signing Chavez recall petitions.

The firings are ``a terrorist act against state employees,'' said Pablo Castro, a director for the Confederation of Venezuelan Workers, in an interview with Union Radio. He said that as many as 7,600 state employees have been fired for signing the petitions. The confederation is the country's largest labor union.

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