“Facts, Facts, and more Facts”
The bank goes to the community
Since its nationalization in 2009, the Bank of Venezuela has become the country’s main financial institution. It reports a 372 % increase in benefits for small and medium bussinessmen. Nowadays, the bank goes to the community through the Communal Point of Sale Terminal(Tbcom).
Friday, February 18, 2011
slavery-like practices since the oil strike
Clear and loud voice
experiences of living with fear and in silence
Nelida Cordero, spokesperson for the United Janitors for Venezuela, uses her personal experience to help those who had similar
Laws for Equality
On January 8, Nelida Cordero requested the President an EnablingLaw to attend janitors’ urgent needs. “The current laws are ambiguous, but we believe some articles must be changed because they were created from the point of view of the employer to keep us in slavery,” she said. The Head of State accepted the proposal. The Organic Law of Work is currently under revision especially the articles related to janitor’s working responsabilities and conditions.Someone speaks and another person takes notes on the words. The meeting started an hour ago but it feels like it has just started. The general mood of the meeting is a mixture of enthusiasm and determination to find solutions to an individual issue that has become a problem for many: turning the city and its communities into a space that favours life.
Nelida’s involvementwith the organization of United Janitors for Venezuela started back in 2002. She tells that “As a result of the oil strike, janitors who have gotten involved in social programs sponsored by the government were victims of vicious attacks. Some of us had started to study at the Government’s Missions As any Friday, many get ready to and that had brought us problems start their weekend, but it is pre-with our employers.” cisely at this time when members of the Movimiento de Pobladores de Nelida says that difficult situation Venezuela gathers up in the head- drove them to create the guild. The quarters of the Cuna de Libertadores main argument behind the creation Communal Council located in down- of the guild was that having your town Caracas. home and job in the same place does not mean that youhave to be Many organizations participate in subjected to humiliations and abusthe gathering: the Committee for es. Urban Lands, the Renters Network, the Pensioners organization, the “Beyond the housing issue, we are Janitors Association, among others. subjected to constant harassment. They have plenty of stories to tell in- I’ve seen glued doorknobs trying to cluding that of the spokesperson forstop us from entering the concierge’s the United Janitors for Venezuela, offices, and our children are not alNelida Cordero. lowed to play in the playgrounds of the buildings. Some janitors have Nelida is a 58-year-old janitor who been told by their employers not to has worked for twelve years in a have more than two children,” exbuilding located in a district of Ca- plains Nelida Cordero. racas.She says she got there “as most people do, by mere chance.” That’s the reason why for seven After splitting with her husband, she years now, the organization has bafound in her job the means to earn sically focused on fighting to restore her living and have a place to live. the fundamental rights of workers
who were victims of slavery-like practices. “This is just the beginning but at leastthe President is on our side. After talking to him last January 8, we realized the doors were opened for us.”
From the bottom up
Thanks to the guild, Nelida has been able to join the meetings of the Movimiento de Pobladores organization, whose aims are to redefine the concept of community, improve life standards, and put an end to abuses.
“We consider ourselves part of this revolutionary...