Chávez OKs labor law that greatly favors workers

Venezuela’s president has signed into law a new labor code that greatly favors workers.

Based on summaries by publications in Caracas, the code reduced the work week two hours to 40 hours and eliminates subcontracting in the country.

The measure also reinstates the premium that workers received up to 1997 on retirement. The code also requires employers to pay retroactively workers who did not receive this premium since 1997.

President Hugo Chávez said on television as he signed the measure that the priority of the law was workers rights and not capitalistic profit.

The law also requires employers to pay wrongfully dismissed employees double their retirement bonus.

New parents also receive two years job security and mothers receive paid maternity leave six weeks before and 20 weeks after birth. Fathers get two to four weeks maternity leave. Parents also receive paid time off if children are sick, said the code.

Chávez is a candidate for reelection Oct. 7.

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