President Enrique Peña Nieto’s first Energy Reform was made public recently and is contained within the Pemex 2015 Financial Report delivered to the Mexican Stock Exchange, or Bolsa (BMV).
The good news is that at long last the personnel downsizing of the mammoth-sized company is a reality. The report says that during last year 14,694 employees were severed dwindling the number of workers from 153,085 to 138,391. That’s a whopping 9.5 percent decrease.
The bad news is that Pemex will continue to be operated by the Finance Secretariat, which uses it as its milking cow, imposing on it a taxation system that makes healthy finances an impossible dream. Just consider that Pemex had to pay taxes amounting to 400.7 percent of operational income, a brutal increase of 121.2 percent during 2014.
But then so long as Congress continues to approve this type of taxation to pay for the over indulgent federal budget, Pemex will not even get close to being a profitable company.
Naturally, the 2015 Financial Report does not put it this way — as a means of sacking the former monopoly — but uses the uncontested figure that the way oil prices plummeted during the past two years was survived by no company, not even the Saudi Arabia sheikhs. But again, even with low oil prices Pemex could have a leaner financial operation.
The personnel downsizing has begun, and is bound to continue at the same rate for the next eight years until Pemex has no more than 50,000 employees to operate both drilling, refining and petrochemicals.
The layoffs were not carried out irrationally. A new labor contract was signed with the union and a new retirement plan was implemented to those 55 to 60 year-old individuals looking forward to retirement, as well as all those seeking voluntary retirement.
They were paid proportionally to their rights under the usual worker protection plans.
Ridding itself of an oversized and overcrowded working cadre was a necessary first step to both decentralize and move the company forwards.