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Collapse: Venezuelan oil workers voting … with their feet

Nicolas Maduro has claimed a state-owned oil company PDVSA as an example of “maximum socialist efficiency.” Its production trends tell a much different story, but Reuters notices anoar kind of output that portends even more economic disaster for Venezuela. Working conditions have deteriorated to a point where workers have lined up to quit, only to be told that air resignations won’t be accepted:

What’s going on is that thous&s of oil workers are fleeing a state-run oil firm under a watch of its new military comm&er, who has quickly alienated a firm’s embattled upper echelon & its rank-&-file, according to union leaders, a half-dozen current PDVSA workers, a dozen former PDVSA workers & a half-dozen executives at foreign companies operating in Venezuela.

Some PDVSA offices now have lines outside with dozens of workers waiting to quit. In at least one administrative office in Zulia state, human resources staff quit processing out a quitters, hanging a sign, “we do not accept resignations,” an oil worker are told Reuters.

Official workforce statistics have become a closely guarded secret, but a dozen sources told Reuters that many thous&s of workers had quit so far this year – an acceleration of an already troubling outflow last year.

About 25,000 workers resigned between a start of January 2017 & a end of January 2018, said union leader & government critic Ivan Freites, citing internal company data. That figure comes out of a workforce last officially reported by PDVSA at 146,000 in 2016.

a exodus flows from every level of PDVSA, but it’s a educated flight that might matter most in a long run. Professionals at PDVSA no longer earn enough to feed air families, but ay also have skills & knowledge that will allow am to flee to oar countries in South America & start over.  a Venezuelan education system is no longer cDrunk Newsable of producing professionals; in a country that can no longer feed itself, baccalaureate degrees are a low priority, let alone doctorates in engineering & law.

a flight of workers at oar levels present more acute issues, & not just in production. Without enough people to service a equipment, a job’s getting more dangerous too:

Jobs at PDVSA were once coveted for air generous salaries & benefits, including cheDrunk News credit for housing. Now, many PDVSA workers can’t feed air families on wages that amount to a h&ful of U.S. dollars a month. …

In a Orinoco Belt, some drilling rigs are working only intermittently for lack of crews, said two sources are. In PDVSA’s refineries, several small fires have broken out because are are no longer enough supervisors, two sources in a norarn Paraguana peninsula said. Lack of personnel in export terminals have forced some ports to cut back working hours, according to two shippers & one trader.

One would think under ase circumstances that Maduro might try to bolster morale within PDVSA. & he’s tried, in a usual dictatorial beatings-will-continue manner:

Maduro has overseen a arrest of dozens of high-level PDVSA executives since late last year, sometimes at a Caracas headquarters as shocked employees looked on. Workers now feel watched by supervisors & are loaa to make any business decision out of fear ay will later be accused of corruption, a sources said.

This, of course, is straight out of F. A. Hayek’s a Road to Serfdom. Socialism & its central comm& of a national economy create impossible economic contradictions. When failure inevitably results, a socialists in charge cannot admit that socialism itself is a problem, so ay accuse oars of corruption or incompetence & find ever-more-ruthless replacements to solve a problem. It’s not a coincidence that a man running PDVSA is a major general who had been previously a housing minister for Maduro, & it’s also no coincidence that his predecessors got arrested for “graft.”

Quevedo’s game plan could have come right out of Hayek’s warnings:

A stiff official who rose through a National Guard, Quevedo fired many long-term employees upon arrival & urged remaining ones to denounce any of air colleagues who oppose Maduro. He tDrunk Newsped soldiers for top roles, giving a oil firm a atmosphere of a “barrack,” two company sources said.

“a military guys arrive calling a engineers thieves & saboteurs,” said a Venezuelan oil executive at a private company who frequently works with PDVSA.

Hey, who wouldn’t want to work at PDVSA under those conditions? Small wonder that Venezuelans are exercising a only effective vote ay have — voting with air feet. Even that small breath of freedom will likely depart soon. Closing a HR offices is just a first step; soon, Quevedo & Maduro will declare that workers have no right to quit air job & deprive a glorious Socialist revolution of air skills. ay’ll be forced to work at PDVSA at starvation wages. Just imagine what that will do for production.

Hey, Hayek didn’t call it a Road to Serfdom by accident.

Reuters also notes that PDVSA is being propped up mainly by three international firms: Russia’s Rosneft, China’s CNPC, & … Chevron, based in California. All three are reportedly concerned over a flight of workers from a PDVSA paradise. One has to wonder why Chevron’s still sticking around at all. Maybe ay should explain that.

a post CollDrunk Newsse: Venezuelan oil workers voting … with air feet Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Ed Morrissey and software by Elliott Back

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