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Thursday, August 28 2014 @ 09:22 AM EDT

Presidential Spokesman Attacks Varela Brothers Union Leader

PoliticsPresident Martinelli's spokesman, Luis Eduardo Camacho, criticized on Tuesday July 10 a press conference held by a group of employees of the company Varela Hermanos, SA in which they denounced a pro-government political attack ad that used an inspection conducted by the Ministry of Labor to manipulate the issue over the payment of minimum wage.

"Retaliation?" asked Camacho, repeating the words used by the union leaders to defend the company tied to Vice President Juan Carlos Varela. Camacho criticized the union, saying they are risking the stability of the workers who are denouncing the non-payment of the minimum wage. The unionist Samuel Rivera, at the headquarters of the General Confederation of Workers of Panama (CGTP), said what cannot be allowed is to expose the stability of the workers who were shown in silhouette being used in political situations, and in the end they could be fired.

Meanwhile, Camacho said, "If I were Varela, I would say to Samuel Rivera 'It would be better if you didn't try to defend me buddy, you're sinking me deeper.'" He also alleged that the CGTP, Mariano Mena and Samuel Rivera should know that no worker can be fired for demanding to be paid the minimum wage. (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: What? A union "leader" comes out to defend the company owner, who was caught red handed not paying his workers the minimum wage as required by law (who also just happens to be the Vice President of Panama, the President of the Panameñista political party, a rich business owner, and supposedly a defender of the weak and poor in Panama). Why in the name of hell would a union leader defend a company owner for not paying minimum wage? (Rhetorical question). Answer = he's probably been paid off handsomely to try to make some sort of attempt to use the workers themselves to turn this back around.

I gotta ask - who's advising Varela on this? I mean, talk about a "stick your tongue into the fan" defense strategy. Ill advised, poorly executed, just plain dumb. I mean - you never get past the surface of it. A union leader who appears to be saying "we get paid less than minimum wage, and we like it." Stupid. Beyond stupid. Idiotic. Any "real" union leader who had not been completely and totally compromised (by money) would be standing on the picnic table and applauding the government's action loudly. The one legitimate gripe could be "it's about time you guys did something. And we know you never would have done anything had it not been for your political fight with the Varela brothers. What about the rest of the Panamanian workers who are also getting ripped off? When are you going to help them?" That's the position a real and legitimate union leader would likely adopt.

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