Venezuela’s government has imposed a two-day working week for public sector workers as a temporary measure to help it overcome a serious energy crisis. Vice-President Aristobulo Isturiz announced that civil servants should turn up for work only on Mondays and Tuesdays until the crisis was over. Venezuela is facing a major drought, which has dramatically reduced water levels at its main hydroelectric dam.
But the opposition has accused the government of mismanaging the crisis. The measures announced on national television by Mr Isturiz affect two million public sector workers. “There will be no work in the public sector on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, except for fundamental and necessary tasks,” he said.
During the 1973 Oil Embargo, Britain flirted with a three-day workweek. But since Venezuela has the world’s largest proven oil reserves, this would be as if it had been Saudi Arabia who had done so. Now that’s mismanagement. The Bolivarian Revolution has managed to impose a crippling energy embargo on its own country.
There is an upside, though. Venezuela also faces major strife between its legislature, which is dominated by anti-Maduro forces, and the executive and judicial branches. Perhaps everything will be solved when the government simply eventually reaches a zero-day workweek? Unfortunately, we think that the security forces will be about the last workers to be given some time off.