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Over the past year, though, Quevedo has failed to reverse the slide. One of his first challenges, according to people within PDVSA, was to stanch the flow of workers, many of whom deserted the company and Venezuela altogether. PDVSA hasn’t disclosed recent employment figures are cufflinks in style 2017. But estimates by IPD Latin America, an oil and gas consultancy, indicate PDVSA has about 106,000 workers – 27 percent fewer than in 2016. Because of cost-of-living increases that now top 1 million percent per year, according to Venezuela’s National Assembly, PDVSA salaries have crumbled to the equivalent of a handful of dollars a month for most workers..

With no money, and little real work to do at idle and faulty facilities, some employees only show up to eat at the few company cafeterias that remain open. Shippers told Reuters that PDVSA workers at times board vessels to ask for food. To boost manpower, Quevedo has been staffing some jobs, including posts that once required technical knowledge, with National Guard recruits. The terminal of Jose, a Caribbean port in northeast Venezuela, is one of the few remaining facilities from which PDVSA exports crude oil are cufflinks in style 2017.

The changes are disturbing buyers here. Some tanker captains complain that young soldiers are woefully unprepared to verify technical details, like whether crude density, a crucial attribute of quality, complies with contract specifications, according to three shippers and one PDVSA employee. Crews fret a stray bullet from the soldiers’ rifles could spark fires and complain that some of the crime afflicting the country is making its way on board are cufflinks in style 2017. Although Quevedo has tasked the soldiers to help spot graft, some of the low-paid recruits ask for bribes themselves, shippers said, for signing off on paperwork or completing inspections..

“There are many risks,” one captain told Reuters. Venezuela’s Defense Ministry, which oversees the National Guard, didn’t respond to Reuters phone calls or emails requesting comment. Even with soldiers as substitutes, PDVSA can’t find the workers it needs to man many posts. From the processing of crude at refineries to contract negotiations with buyers, the shortage of skilled staffers is hobbling the company. In a recent internal report, PDV Marina, the company’s maritime unit, said staffing was in a “critical state” on PDVSA’s own tankers, forcing some workers to toil far more than allowed by union rules. The “alarming deficit of main staff,” the report read, means “we cannot honor labor agreements.” are cufflinks in style 2017.

Tensions with military managers are causing even more departures, some workers say. Consider an incident in June, when two tankers docked at Jose. One prepared to take on heavy crude, the other a lighter grade of oil. As the tankers loaded, PDVSA port employees noticed a mixup – the two crudes had blended. The mistake, the government said later, forced PDVSA to pay the buyers, because of contractual penalties, $2.7 million. It would also be costly for nine PDVSA employees. Shortly after the error, soldiers and intelligence agents arrested the workers, and prosecutors charged them with sabotage. “This was premeditated,” said Tarek Saab, Maduro’s chief prosecutor, announcing the arrests on television. “The actions go beyond negligence – there was malice here.” are cufflinks in style 2017.