Delegation of the European Union to the

UN and other international organisations in Geneva

ILO - GB 332 - EU Statement - INS/10: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Geneva, 21/03/2018 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 180322_14
Statements on behalf of the EU

ILO Governing Body, 332nd session Geneva, 12 March – 22 March 2018 EU Statement - INS/10: Complaint concerning non-observance by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela of the Minimum Wage-Fixing Machinery Convention, 1928 (N° 26), the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (N° 87), and the Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976 (N° 144), submitted under article 26 of the Constitution by several delegates to the 104th Session (2015) of the International Labour Conference

Thank you chair,

I speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries Montenegro[*] and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA country Norway, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Georgia align themselves with this statement.

We attach great importance to human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of association of workers and employers, and we recognise the crucial role played by the ILO in developing, promoting and supervising international labour standards. Compliance with the ILO fundamental conventions and development of an environment conducive to dialogue and trust between employers, workers and governments contributes to creating a basis for social peace and sustainable growth.

At the last Governing Body in November, although no progress was reported on this case, this assembly had decided to provide the government with a last chance to show willingness to cooperate. Indeed, the institutionalization of the tripartite round table requested by the GB and to which the government committed, had not taken place, even if this was one of the High Level’s mission recommendations, already back in 2014. Moreover, the government had never responded to ILO’s offer for technical assistance.

Despite such a situation, the EU has actively worked towards a compromise solution agreeable to all constituents at the last GB, in order to enable the Venezuelan government to show its genuine will to cooperate and make progress on this matter. At that time, sending a high level tripartite mission to the country seemed to us the best option.

Unfortunately, as indicated in the report,  this tripartite high-level mission could not take place because of the government’s objections to the list of workers’ organizations and other entities that it had requested to meet.  We deeply regret that the government of Venezuela did not seize this opportunity and put further conditions to approve the agenda of the tripartite high-level mission. In particular, we are very disappointed that three trade unions were denied the right to meet the mission.

We are also very concerned that despite GB’s repeated calls for social dialogue, employers continue to face acts of intimidation and retaliation, and that FEDECAMARAS is still excluded from dialogue.

We are fully aware that Venezuela is currently going through a difficult crisis. However, the difficult political and economic situation should not serve as an excuse for the government not to set up the minimum basis for social dialogue and implement GB decisions.

Chair, the GB is confronted today with a difficult decision to take on the way forward. The EU and its MS are taking their responsibility very seriously.

But we have to acknowledge the facts:  we have used all options available to provide the government with the opportunity to show willingness to cooperate. However, none of the recommendations made by the GB has been implemented by the Venezuelan government.

Chair, we support the decision point.


[*] Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.