Business & Economy

Informal sector workers gain ground in crisis-ridden Venezuela

By Nicole kolster

Caracas, Aug 12 (EFE).- A poor neighborhood in the Venezuelan capital gets packed every day with informal vendors selling all kinds of goods from cigarettes to juices in return of US dollars, amid a profound economic crisis.

On a metal bench sits Eduard Delgado with a portable fridge, in which he keeps the juices he will try to sell throughout the day.

“We have been doing this informally for two years, selling products that come out on the same day,” Delgado, who lives off the foreign currency he makes from selling juices, tells Efe.

Most of the products are traded in US dollars due to the limited purchasing power of the Venezuelan bolivar.

Delgado has not made his first sale of the day yet but he does not lose hope.

“It is very difficult to get (formal) employment and if you do (the salary) is very low,” says Delgado, who graduated as a technician in foreign trade, a job he cannot carry on doing due to the ongoing crisis that has gripped the country for years.

Luigi Pisella, president of Venezuela’s trade union, told Efe that private sector wages are not “in line with the income an employee should get.”

According to Pisella, an employee in the industrial sector earns “$90 per month” on average, and “around $66 and $70” in the commercial sector.

“That is why many people have resorted to the informal sector (…) there are no sources of work and our workers are not paid as they deserve,” explains Pisella.

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