Venezuela introduces two-day work week

Caracas, April 27 (IANS) Venezuelan has imposed a two-day work 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 gets over, BBC reported on Wednesday.

Venezuela is facing a major drought, which has dramatically reduced water levels at its main hydroelectric dam.

The measures announced on national television by 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.

President Nicolas Maduro has already given most of Venezuela’s 2.8 million state employees Fridays off during April and May to cut down on electricity consumption.

He said Venezuela had been badly hit by the El Nino weather phenomenon and would return to normal when it starts raining again.

“We are managing the situation in the best possible way while we wait for the rains to return.”

The government has taken a number of other measures to try to deal with the crisis.

In February, shopping centres were told to reduce their opening hours and generate their own energy.

Earlier this week, the government put the clocks forward by half an hour to reduce demand for electricity in the early evening.

Last week, it introduced power cuts for four hours a day.



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