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Chavez' PDVSA has increased salaries in 19.8% in US$ terms

By Miguel Octavio

While PDVSA’s financials are not available for the simple reason that the auditors have not been able to complete their job properly, under Venezuelan Government regulations, the company has to have its budget approved and if there are significant variations, it has to request that the Cabinet approve it again. In late June, PDVSA submitted a new budget to the Cabinet which I post below. With the caveats that not all of the information coming out of PDVSA, it is interesting to make some comments about it.

The first comment is that PDVSA’s revenues are not up to the levels of 2001, despite the extremely high oil prices; this proves that the company is not producing the number of barrels of oil that it claims to produce.

But the most perverse part of the budget is how Chavez and his government lie about what they are doing and how they have improved PDVSA. Government authorities repeatedly talk about the inefficient and overpaid management that they got rid of at PDVSA. They speak of their unjust high salaries and perks and how they made millions while most Venezuelans went hungry. Well, nothing has changed at all after this hollow revolution took over PDVSA. In fact, it is worse now. Right before the strike, the bolivar stood at Bs. 1,000 per US$ and the company had 43,000 workers. According to the budget above the average salary in 2002 per worker was $32,700 per year. The interesting thing is that reportedly PDVSA now has only 31,000 workers, after firing 18,000 workers and rehiring some 6,000 new ones. That comes out to be US$ 39, 200 per worker, an increase of 19.8% in US$ terms. More >>

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