Polar, the Venezuelan version of Kraft or Procter & Gamble is the president’s next expropriation victim. A decree nationalizing Polar’s warehouses and offices in Barquisimeto, an industrial zone was signed. Chávez plans to replace the facility with apartments.
But Polar isn’t standing by idle, they have taken up the issue with the Supreme Court and its employees are rallying up in opposition. Workers worry they will suffer the same fate their compatriots have when their companies were nationalized. Juan Tacoa, president of one of the unions protecting workers explains, “Here in Polar, we have benefits we know we would not have with the government.”
Employees are camped out at Polar’s entrance to make sure Chávez’s supporters did not storm the gates. Santos Freites, 42, embodies the overwhelming sentiment among his co-workers, “This is our fight, our cause, and the reason we are here is our jobs,” he said. “We are here because we need to defend our jobs, for our children and our families.”