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Venezuela: worker-president of ALCASA removed

Workers control,socialism and a coup against the revolution

Venezuela: worker-president of ALCASA removed

Written by In Defence of Marxism Tuesday, 28 February 2012

*On Saturday, February 25, Venezuelan vice-president announced the
dismissal of Elio Sayago, worker-president of the state-owned aluminum
smelter ALCASA, and his replacement by Angel Marcano. This decision
represents an assault of the bureaucracy within the Bolivarian revolution
against workers' control and has caused outrage amongst revolutionary
activists in Guayana and throughout Venezuela.*

Elio Sayago, a long standing revolutionary activist, had been appointed as
worker-president of ALCASA in May 2010, as part of a plan to introduce
elements of workers' control and management in all the companies of the
state-owned CVG complex of basic industries in the state of Guayana.

This was the second attempt to introduce workers' control in ALCASA. An earlier
attempt < http://www.marxist.com/venezuela-alcasa-workers-control060106.htm>led
by Carlos Lanz, who had been appointed by president Chavez, was
defeated due to a combination of bureaucratic pressures and sabotage and
also mistakes made in the way the experience was run.

The different companies which make up CVG Guayana (Venalum, Sidor, ALCASA,
etc) had become a battle field between revolution and bureaucracy. Those
groups of revolutionary activists advocating workers' control and
management were facing a powerful network of interests linking up the right
wing of the Bolivarian movement, bureaucratic "Bolivarian" trade union
leaders, opposition-aligned adeco trade unionists, private businesses and
multinationals as we described in detail in July last year (see Workers'
control vs bureaucrats, Mafia and multinationals in
Bolivar< http://www.marxist.com/venezuela-revolutionary-vignettes-1.htm>

In an interview with the Marxist paper Lucha de Clases, Elio Sayago
explained the conspiracy against workers' control at ALCASA, and warned how
this had the support of elements right at the top of the state bureaucracy
and the national government (see: Workers' Control, Challenges and the
Revolutionary Government: An Interview with Elio Sayago, President of CVG
Alcasa< http://www.marxist.com/venezuela-workers-control-interview-elios-sayago.htm>

An article in Venezuelanalysis
< http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/6833>
describes how "on
hearing the news, workers quickly organised in defence of their president,
calling an assembly at the factory and issuing a statement strongly
rejecting the government's "disastrous" decision."

*The Coordination of groups and nucleous of peoples'
power< http://www.aporrea.org/trabajadores/n199677.html>

in Guayana, representing a wide range of left wing, rank and file,
Bolivarian revolutionary organisations has issued a call "to struggle to
defeat this strategy which goes against the interests of workers and of the
Bolivarian revolution led by president Chavez". *

*Elio Sayago rejected the dismissal, as he explained that he had not been
officially notified, and had only found out about it on the TV news. "It is
my responsibility to alert you all that this is not a person taking control
in Alcasa, but rather a political and economic group... a group that for
practically two years has tried to obstruct efforts to consolidate workers'
control, they used violence and sowed terror in the industry," explained

*It is not by chance that this decision has been taken just as president
Chavez, who appointed Elio Sayago as worker-president of ALCASA, had left
the country for Cuba for medical reasons. *

*Once again, the only way to defend the revolution is for the workers to
take power and defeat the "Bolivarian" bureaucracy which is nothing more
than the fifth column of the capitalists and imperialists within the
revolutionary movement. *

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