Venezuela’s state oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) is losing workers at a rate of knots with around 10,000 departing in one week of January, according to Univision, a Spanish-language television network in the US.
Workers are voting with their feet because the collapsing national economy means they are not earning enough to live on.
PDVSA sits on the world’s biggest oil resources, many offshore, but has been hampered by underinvestment, mismanagement, corruption and the travails of the entire national economy. The company has struggled to meet financial commitments to suppliers and to make bondholder payments.
Workers are also reportedly concerned about workplace safety because of deficient equipment maintenance.
The national economy is heavily dependent on PDVSA’s oil exports but the volume of output has dropped drastically from 3.8 million barrels of crude daily at its peak in the late 1990s to 1.6 million now.
Venezuela has been engulfed in social and political turmoil, too, with street protests violently put down and socialist President Nicolas Maduro incurring international disapproval for rewriting the constitution in a move widely seen as a power grab.