Skip to comments.Venezuelan Authorities Seize Idle Heinz Ketchup Plant (a more detailed article/discussion)
Posted on 09/17/2005 7:35:17 AM PDT by mcg2000
Venezuelan Authorities Seize Idle Heinz Ketchup Plant
Friday, Sep 09, 2005 By: Gregory Wilpert Venezuelanalysis.com
Caracas, Venezuela, September 9, 2005Venezuelan military seized a Heinz Ketchup plant in Venezuelas Monagas state last Monday. Heinz company representatives complained that the seizure represented, a violation of property rights and free trade as well as due process. Venezuelas Minister for Agriculture and Land, Antonio Albarrán, argued, though, that 80% of the plant actually belongs to the workers and that Heinz bought the plant illegally in 1996. The plant has been closed for nearly a decade, according to Albarrán.
The take-over of the Heinz plant in the town of Caicara, Monagas, was carried out by Venezuelan troops at the request of the pro-Chavez state governor, José Gregorio Briceño. The move comes at a time that the Chavez government is investigating over 700 closed enterprises, evaluating them for their suitability for worker takeovers, via expropriation.
Workers at many other factories and businesses have begun taking matters in their own hands, not waiting for the government to act in the expropriation of idle factories.
The president of the anti-Chavez industrial business federation Conindustria, Juan Francisco Mejías, said that he hopes that the government will rectify its action in the case of the Heinz tomato processing plant.
However, the president of the National Confederation of Ranchers and Agricultural Businesses, José Augustín Campos, a group that is considered to be close to the government, said that Heinz's closing of the plant was a criminal act because it caused all the surrounding tomato growers to go out of business.
The coordinator of Venezuelas new union federation, the National Union of Venezuelan Workers (UNT Unión Nacional de Trabajadores Venezolanos), Marcela Máspero, said that the UNT is considering the take-over of 800 closed businesses. Accompanied by the communities, we will occupy these businesses because we cannot continue to allow that the reactivation of the countrys productive apparatus is diminished due to the closure of businesses, said Máspero.
Máspero also said that the UNT would ask Venezuelas National Assembly to declare these businesses of public utility, a necessary step prior to the governments expropriation of privately owned businesses. Máspero estimates that up to 20,000 jobs could be rescued via such takeovers.
According to Máspero there are currently eight businesses in Venezuela that workers have occupied, to which belongs the Heinz plant in Monagas. Others include Probamasa, a corn processing plant owned by the food and beverage company Polar; a plant belonging to the dairy company Parmalat, in Machiques; Parmalat in Barquisimeto; Sideroca Proacero in Cabimas; the valve factory Inveval in Los Teques; the paper plant Invepal in Morón; and the meat-packing company Fribarsa in Barinas. Only two of these, Inveval and Invepal, have completed the full legal procedure for turning the plants over to the workers.
Máspero explained, First we occupy and then we resolve the issue of ownership, as there is always a reason for the occupation. As an example she cited the recently occupied Promabrasa, where the workers told us that for over six months now the business owes them back pay. We requested an inspection by the Ministry of Labor and they are carrying out all the legal procedures.
According to Venezuelan law, once the National Assembly declares a business to be of public utility, the executive may expropriate it, compensating legal owners at market value for the business. Chavez has said that his government would turn such expropriated businesses into state and worker co-managed businesses.
Venezuelas Labor Minister, Maria Cristina Iglesias, recently provided an assessment of the 700 businesses the government is considering for expropriation. According to Iglesias, in 155 of the cases both owners and workers have already committed themselves to the principle of co-management, implying that original owners and the workers would co-manage these, without the states involvement.
---having seen the quality of Venezuelan "labor" about twenty-five years ago, I am sure any "business" co-managed by them will be an abject failure---quickly--
Does anyone remember Uganda??
Ah yes, expropriation on behalf of the workers. These policies always work so well where they take place. Success stories like the Soviet Union, Cuba, Zimbabwe. I guess we can't advocate the Pat Robertson solution for dealing with Chavez, so I won't. But if something should accidentally happen to Hugo, well, I'll bet I could hold up under the strain.
Sorry, but I just can't seem to rake up much sympathy for Theresa. Now, sympathy for "all those little brown naked children" who's parents have lost their jobs is another story.
What does Teresa have to do with any of this?
and the march to communism in South America continues...(rolling eyes)
Good news...soon to be more ketchup on the market! ;-)
Bad news...it seems it will be Red.
Hmmmm...I wonder if Heinz pulled some leftie connections to get an environmental mess off their books! ;-)
While Teresa Heinz Kerry gained much of her $500 million portfolio through her Heinz inheritance, she does not serve on the board and is not involved with the management of the company. Even her late husband, Sen. H. John Heinz III, did not serve on the board.
No Heinz family member has been employed by the company or served on its board since H.J. Heinz II, its chairman, died in 1987.
Teresa owns less than 4 percent of the company's stock.
--while we don't hear much about it , I am under the impression that post-Idi Amin Uganda is--relatively speaking--one of the few success stories out of Africa, especially as concerns AIDS--
is sleeping with Hugo and
wants her business back . . .
The original "eminent domain".
Has anyone gotten a comment from Ter-ray-za or John Francois on this matter? Has anyone asked her when she will give all her wealth to "the people"?
On a side note - can anyone tell me why I can't find Heinz pourable yellow mustard north of Baltimore? I tried it in DC and really liked it, can't find a trace of it here in the NYC metro area. We're Gulden's folks up here, but I'd like to try that Heinz again.
And no, we never did boycott Heinz, sorry, their ketchup is just the best.
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