The Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, extended until 2020 the validity of the decree that prohibits the dismissals in the Caribbean country, as announced today by its executive vice president, Delcy Rodríguez.
The announcement, Rodriguez said in a speech broadcast on state television VTV, is part of "the fundamental line of defense and protection of workers" that the Venezuelan Government is advancing with its most recent economic announcements.
The measure, known in Venezuela as "labor immovability", prohibits companies from making layoffs without first going through a lengthy and expensive process, and was instituted by the late President Hugo Chávez in April 2002.
The Venezuelan employers, Fedecámaras, did not speak immediately, although in the past it has pointed out that the decree constitutes "a serious problem" for companies and threatens productivity.
The decision to extend the decree also happens in the midst of the severe economic crisis that Venezuela is going through, which is expressed in scarcity, hyperinflation and the marked fall in gross domestic product, which contracted 53% since 2013, according to Parliament calculations.
Maduro launched an economic program last August to try to tackle the crisis, but the plan was criticized by businessmen, opponents and experts who said it was incomplete and impertinent, as well as fueling hyperinflation.
Currently, the Venezuelan minimum wage, the norm in public administration, is located at 4,500 bolivares, or just 7 dollars according to the official exchange rate.