PDVSA Workers Are Passing Out on the Job

Photo: Bloomberg

Fabiola Zerpa, from Bloomberg, just published a harrowing story about the state of PDVSA. Malnourished workers are passing out in the workplace:

Hunger is hastening the ruin of Venezuelan’s oil industry as workers grow too weak and hungry for heavy labor. With children dying of malnutrition and adults sifting garbage for table scraps, food has become more important than employment, and thousands are walking off the job. Absenteeism and mass resignations mean few are left to produce the oil that keeps the tattered economy functioning.

And those aren’t isolated cases. Even union leaders are affected:

Ivan Freitas, a PDVSA union leader and critic of President Nicolás Maduro’s regime, said Wednesday that in Zulia State 12 malnourished workers collapsed in November and December and had to be taken off drilling platforms for treatment. More go down each day, he said.

Workers must endure inhumane conditions with virtually no pay, and the only thing the fuckers at PDVSA do to prevent mass resignations is to delay bureaucratic processes.

According to the article:

In one human resources office, a sign advertised a limit of five resignations a day. (…) “Management is holding them back to stop brain and technical drain,” said Jose Bodas, general secretary of United Federation of Venezuelan Oil Workers (…) “They’re giving up because of hunger,” (…) “They’re leaving because they get paid better abroad. This is unheard of, a catastrophe.”

Watching the collapse of PDVSA under this administration (and the whole country, for that matter) has been like watching a train wreck in slow motion: you can see the wheels starting to fly off, the beginning of an explosion at the point of the impact, the debris going everywhere. It’s still recognizable, most of the wagons are still intact, but we all know it’s a matter of time, the trains have crashed and there’s no stopping this.

If only we were talking about actual trains, and not PDVSA, the company that’s barely keeping this country together…

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    • No sane company would sign up for any such project. Even if they did, they would rightly demand to be pre-paid 100% in USD (or other real money). And I’m pretty sure that VZ doesn’t have that much real money laying around to pay such a contract.

      Anything less is extending credit to a customer who has zero credit worthiness and unlimited liabilities.

      No matter how you slice, PDVSA is toast.

    • Pers, big IOC’s are still there as minority partners including Statoil, Chevron, CNOOPC, Rosneft, Total as well as Indian, and others. The problem came on 1 May, 2007 when HCF ordered that pdvsa would have a majority stake, leading to the exit of Conocophillips and Exxon and others. The “revolution”, or whatever… led to the brain drain of experience, the promotion of incompetence, the start of incipient corruption that woul not be accepted by IOC’s, the failure to pay bills leading to shortages of materials and maintenance, etc. It was a beautiful revolution while it lasted… now its dead, or in a coma..

      As I said IOC’s remain, but they aren’t sticking their neck out for anything or anyone. At the right time they’ll go back to work.. but I’d expect only when they have control of expenditures, and distribution of income, less the corruption.

      In the meantime, can anyone explain to me how “equally sharing oil revenues “ is somehow different than a CLAP bag? As ichessnet wrote, how’d that work out? You either make significant changes in the country’s relationship with oil revenue.. or you just move the disaster to the next generation. Viva creoles,

      Post Chavismo the focus should be on nonoil revenue generation; agriculture (coffee, rice, chocolate [impending worldwide shortage], improve security to have real tourism, get metal exports going agian, control the narcos and illegal mining, etc. Venezuela is literally sitting on gold mine.. but the focus is always pudovsa, but they can’t.

    • There’s one fat-assed chavista PDVSA union boss who always rubbed me the wrong way. Wish I could recall his name ’cause I’d like to see a recent photo of him. Bet he hasn’t lost a gram. Someone here will know his name.

      Don’t know how those guys can stand up in front of their rank and file members who don’t have the energy to lift a hammer.

        • I recognize the face G2 but that’s not the guy. Isn’t he a prostituyente member? The one I’m trying to name is……big fat face with tiny ears. A real piece of work. Maybe he’s a SIDOR rep? Don’t recall.

          • NET, his name is Wils Rangel Linares…..look him up.

            BTW, looking for his name I came across a photo of the cunt from last August. She’s lost a lot of weight and I imagine it’s safe to assume she’s not missing meals.

          • Wils Rangel Linares, that the guy… he’s been playing (milking) both sides of the street so long I have no idea how he’s still alive.

      • Marco, my nephew who moved here to Miami last year is ready to be on the program My 600-Pound Life.

        Don’t know if you’ve heard of this show, but he has become ENORMOUS because of the eating opportunities and access here. Like letting a kid loose in a candy store.

        And his wife is catching up to him.

        But how the hell can I blame them? They haven’t stopped eating everything in sight for 16 months.

        • Ira, I bet there are thousands of stories like that. While I’m fortunate in that we don’t suffer from lack of something to eat, what we do miss is variety…..it’s the same old stuff over and over again. Protein in the form of beef……no fish, no chicken, no pork for the most part……and carbs….potatos and rice. Fresh vegetables are available sometimes, but not much selection.

          Originally from S. Louisiana with some of the best food in the world, especially seafood, I bet I’d weigh 600 lbs in 6 months if I found myself back home.

  1. “Unfortunately PDVSA is not going to implode completely”, says my buddy Rex. “These poor workers will work all they can, and the Criminal Regime will continue to produce oil, one way or another. At least what’s sufficient to keep them in power”. The USA will have to lay down the hammer anyway. The Narco-Kleptocracy needs the 40$ Million USD it gets from the USA everyday in Cash. And no other country will pay CASH for heavy oil. “I’ll make sure of that”, says Rex. We’ll just wait for the election fraud to pass, and then cut off our cash, see how long does the corrupt military continue supporting the dictatorship, after they stop getting paid with our dollars”. Rex ain’t fooling around, I tell ya..

  2. Good work from Fabiola, but she’s crucially mistaken here:

    “Absenteeism and mass resignations mean few are left to produce the oil that keeps the tattered economy functioning.”

    Obviously, whatever’s left of Kleptozuela’s destroyed economy isn’t “functioning”, to begin with.

    But Oil is indeed what keeps the Criminal Kleptocrats in power. That’s what’s crucial now.

    And that’s what few talk about publicly, except for my buddy Rex and yours truly. We know that the Genocidal Tyranny is still standing amid such a horrific economy only because several million Enchufados in over 35 bogus “ministries” and such are BRIBED month after month. It’s still standing only because thousands of top corrupt military scoundrels are getting BRIBED every month. In dollars, or from the US$ Kleptozuela gets ONLY from the oil sold to the USA. No other country would pay that cash. None.

    Yes, 40 Million US$ per day. CASH. That’s what keeps the criminal regime afloat. To pay the enchufados. Millions of them, at all levels of society. To pay thousands of military, especially the higher ranks.

    You see, Fabiola, that’s what PDVSA now achieves: Keep the Chavista Thugs in power, while the people starve, by PAYING OFF millions of corrupt public employees, leeches everywhere, and thousands of military with the guns to intimidate malcontents or deter any protests in a reign of Tropical Terror.

    Fortunately, Rex and the US administration know where their 40$ Million per day go, and what will happen when they decide to cut that off. Shut it down. Fortunately, it should be soon, right after the election Mega-Fraud, if my calculations are correct.

  3. Cry me a river ffs, every single PDVSA employee is a Chavista and every Chavista deserves to die a slow painful death. Q se JODEN!!!!

    • Not quite, my uncle has worked for pdvsa for over 30 years, he never voted for chavez (not even the first time) or maduro, he doesn’t go to the rallies, he didn’t go to the sham of the ANC nor he got a fatherland card, he doesn’t even live in the houses they (used to?) provide to employees.

      Incidentally, I met with him yesterday, he told me that so many engineers are leaving that they are now RATIONING the number of resignation letters they get a day to 3 (and then it’ll likely take months for it to be acknowledged and a couple of months more to be paid severance) so a lot aren’t even bothering formally resigning and just leave for good.

  4. Another tale of classic Venezuelan culture, and why I beat my head against the wall.

    Monday and Tuesday I had two young fellows here helping me prepare 3,000 kilos of raw corn for a client. We worked two days, though not long days, they ate a good breakfast and lunch and had fresh parchita when they wanted to quench their thirst. My woman paid them well, in cash, and as they left I gave them each a bonus, in cash of course.

    So I call the kid today and he and his buddy come by the shop. I ask if they can work Saturday, and bring along 2 extra buddies because I have a client who’ll be leaving with 5,000 kilos of corn…..a lot of work for just one day.

    The kid tells me he can work Saturday, has no plans, can bring along his buddies, but because it’s Saturday, they have to be paid double. “Double?”. Double. “But you’re not employed, Saturday is just like a Monday, no?….for me personally, every day is Monday”. Saturday’s are double.

    When I talked to my woman she almost lost it………but, quickly regained her composure and said, let’s call the customer and see if we can’t reschedule this for next Monday…….not because paying these kids double will break the bank, but just to fuck with the little ungrateful fuckers. No job, no food, no cash, but they want double on Saturday.

    • Unreal. Here a grocery raised the price of a coffee brand by 40% overnight. I didn’t buy. Next week, they had it “on sale” for 40% off. I bought two. Next month, back at the higher price. No. I switched coffee brands. Now, two years later, I happened to notice it at the original price (not on sale, just regular price). Same with a couple of other products. It is possible to win. Supply and demand reach equilibrium. And I negotiated a worker down to what I knew was a fair price. Some other guy came around to give a free estimate for another unrelated job, but talking to him I knew the price was way too high. I probably rolled my eyeballs a bit, he caught that, promised the estimate, but apparently decided not to bother (smart of him). There are people who will just pay his prices, I’m sure. Some people have somehow gotten the idea they can offer what amounts to a joke of a price (joke as in “you’re kidding!”) and get it. Que va! Mucho!

      • Just talked to my client. He’s going to drive over during the weekend and leave a supply of sacks. We’ll bag and weigh his corn on Monday. Those kids can work at our normal rate, turds.

  5. How well is “paid well” just out of curiosity MRubio? I give my boy a raise just about every week, they are making a million a week at this point plus I feed them breakfast, lunch, and supper and coffee and beer on the weekends. They show up everyday, even on holidays and I honestly think that if they didn’t eat here, they probably wouldn’t eat at all. The one guy tells me he gives all his money to his mom for groceries and never spends a dime. Another one helps him mom out too but spends everything else trying to keep his old motorcycle going which he can’t. It currently needs a new tube and he will have to work for a couple of weeks to pay for that. Trying to take care of my own but my wife family are getting skinnier and skinnier all the time, it’s hard to watch. When they come over for a visit you should see how their eyes light up when I offer them coffee. Things are fucking rudo.

  6. What’s wrong with them passing out and dying of hunger?

    These are the scumbags who took the Chavez loyalty oath and kept their jobs, right? As opposed to those who said Fuck You Hugo, were fired, and got the hell out while the the gettin’ was good.

    Damn, I’m loving it, because there IS justice in this world.

  7. Do you know what’s incredible about Rex? How he sees both the big AND small picture.

    He ignores criticisms on how a U.S. embargo on VZ oil would further hurt the pueblo, because his philosophy is, and I think I’m paraphrasing here:

    “What the fuck is worse? Hurting them a little more now, or having them hurt for 6 fucking MORE years under this fucking murderous administration?”

    You can’t argue with this argument.


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