On December 5, 2016, the Venezuelan Ministry of Labor published Resolution N° 10.002, which guarantees a special protection against dismissal for workers who are members of a Productive Workers’ Council (known as “CPT,” for its acronym in Spanish). The Resolution became effective immediately.1

One month prior, by way of Decree No. 2.535, President Nicolás Maduro created the CPTs, ordering that they be established at businesses and institutions in the private and public sectors to encourage workers’ participation in productivity management in their respective workplace. The CPTs are composed of three workers from the company, a representative from the Ministry of Youth and Sport, a representative from the Ministry of Women and Gender Equality, and two representatives from the Ministry of Defense.

The Resolution prohibits dismissing, transferring, or degrading the working conditions of workers who are members of the CPT, unless the employer’s charge of “just cause” is first authorized by the Labor Inspector Office. This special protection, which extends to one year from the date the worker becomes a CPT representative, ensures CPT representatives can exercise autonomy in fulfilling their related duties.

Finally, the resolution states that membership with the CPT does not imply abandonment of work. This means that workers’ absences in carrying out their duties as members of the CPT may not be deemed as a fair cause for dismissal.

As part of its enforcement efforts, the government already is conducting inspections to identify businesses that have yet to establish a CPT. Companies should establish a CPT in their business as soon as possible.