Salary + 144 eggs: Venezuelan firm offers unusual monthly compensation

By Ana Isabel Martinez
FILE PHOTO: A man carries a carton of eggs across a river in the border town of Boca del Grita in the state of Tachira, Venezuela September 8, 2015. REUTERS/Girish Gupta

By Ana Isabel Martinez

CARACAS (Reuters) - A Venezuelan security firm is looking to attract personnel with a "motivational" bonus of 144 eggs for good presentation and time-keeping - alongside a $10 per month salary.

Aware of food scarcities and soaring prices in the crisis-hit economy, Atlas Security, in western Zulia state, is seeking security guards on a 2 million bolivar monthly salary - $10 at the black market rate - plus a "motivational" bonus of eggs.

To qualify for the weekly box of 36 eggs, worth around $2 at the black market rate, staff have to arrive on time, not miss shifts and dress smartly.

"Many weren't complying with these basic rules, that's why we've done this," human resources manager Cindy Fuenmayor told Reuters. "We've had lots of applications since we published the ad. We're being innovative. It's a good incentive."

Food and transport bonuses have become crucial for Venezuelan workers. The currency has collapsed to such an extent that the minimum wage is currently around $1 per month at the black market rate.

Venezuela is also undergoing hyperinflation, and has one of the world's highest murder rates - with security guards often victims of crime.

President Nicolas Maduro blames the problems on an "economic war" waged by the opposition with a helping hand from Washington, while critics say his socialist government has wrecked the economy via incompetence and corruption.

Around 200 positions are available at Atlas, said Fuenmayor, mainly to guard farms.

(Writing by Girish Gupta, editing by Andrew Cawthorne, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)