Venezuela orders two-day week for public workers to stave off power crisis

Venezuela’s public employees will work only on Monday and Tuesday as the country grapples with an electricity crisis. President Nicolas Maduro announced that the government was slashing working hours for at least two weeks in a bid to save energy. He said the water level behind the nation’s largest dam had fallen to near its minimum operating level owing to a severe drought. Experts say lack of planning and maintenance is also to blame.

We are requesting international help, technical and financial aid to help revert the situation.

President Nicolas Maduro

The country’s socialist administration already gave nearly 3 million public workers Fridays off earlier this month, and on Monday initiated daily four-hour blackouts around the country. It is now extending the Friday holidays to grade school teachers, though it appears employees of public hospitals and state-run supermarkets will still have to work. Venezuelans reacted with disbelief to the news that most public workers would hardly be going into the office. Workers will be paid for the days they’re sent home.

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

President Maduro