Italian metalworkers' union supports Venezuelan UNT

As part of his speaking tour of Italy for the Hands Off Venezuela campaign, Jorge Martin spoke to the provincial congress of the Caserta FIOM (metalworkers' union). As a result the delegates unanimosuly voted a resolution supporting the UNT, the new union set up by the Venezuelan workers after the old CTV had passed over completely to the counter-revolution. (May 11, 2004) See also Italian version: Unità di classe fra i lavoratori italiani e venezuelani!

As our readers know well, the old Venezuelan trade union federation, the CTV, has remained in the hands of bureaucrats who have openly supported the counter-revolution. The leaders of the CTV supported the April 11, 2002, coup. This marked the death of that organisation as a genuine representative of the Venezuelan workers. This posed the urgent task of giving the workers a genuine trade union representation. This is what led to many workers, shops stewards and trade union activists to come together in 2003 and set up the UNT (Union Nacional de los Trabajadores). This has now emerged as the genuine trade union organisation of the Venezuelan workers. In spite of this, there are attempts by many in the leadership of the trade union movement internationally to continue to recognise the CTV. It is necessary to inform the workers of the world of the real situation, of the truth.

As part of this campaign Jorge Martin spoke to the provincial congress of the FIOM (the metalworkers’ union affiliated to the CGIL) in Caserta, just north of Naples, Italy. As a result of his intervention a resolution was unanimously adopted by the delegates supporting the UNT. This resolution will now go to the regional congress with the aim of getting it to the national congress of the FIOM. This campaign should be taken to other trade unions the world over. Our unions should not be dealing with friends of the bosses and coup plotters, but with the organisation that the Venezuelan are building to defend themselves against the attacks of the bosses.


This provincial congress of the Caserta FIOM-CGIL listened very carefully and attentively to the greetings and message brought by the comrade delegate of the Venezuelan Union Nacional de los Trabajadores who explained the dramatic situation the workers in that country are facing.

The difficult conjuncture that Venezuela is going through has seen an attempted coup on April 11, 2002 and a bosses’ lockout in December of the same year, both led by the chairman of the local bosses’ association, Carmona, and supported by the corrupt bureaucracy of the CTV (Confederacion de los Trabajadores Venezuelanos).

That is why the Venezuelan workers decided in August 2003 to set up a new union confederation, the UNT, which subsequently received the support of an ever-growing number of unions and now represents the majority of organised workers in Venezuela.

The UNT organisers have been involved in a patient and difficult campaign of providing international counter-information not only to overcome the silence and lies of the main media, but also, and above all, to build closer international links with all those union organisations that are struggling to defend workers’ rights.

The provincial congress of the FIOM-CGIL of Caserta expresses its complete solidarity with the Venezuelan workers and with the UNT. We call on our national organisation to build long-lasting trade union relations and to develop an exchange of experiences between the two organisations that can contribute to the growth of both organisations and that provides for an ever-deeper analysis and understanding of the real situation.

May 11, 2004

See the Italian version