Brazil’s oilworkers federation teases with another anti-Petrobras strike date

The powerful FUP oil workers federation of Brazil is continuing to tease state-oil giant Petrobras with threats of strike action against the firm, according to Reuters.

Last week the union – which is angry about a wide range of cutbacks in staffing, investment and budgets by Petrobras – called for action to begin on Friday. Then it postponed that action by two days to Sunday. Then nothing happened on Sunday and now the FUP is warning that it could start a strike on Wednesday.

If the action does go ahead on Wednesday it would be open ended and would hit all operational and administrative units of Petrobras including the terminals of Transpetro, the company’s shipping and gas pipeline unit.

Petrobras has explained the need for cutbacks because of pressures on multiple fronts: the plummeting oil price; the company’s huge debts (biggest of any oil company in the world); onerous obligations to be involved in all projects in Brazil’s subsalt polygon; and, not least, the ruinous effects of the bribery-for-contracts scandal that has dominated Brazilian news all year.

The FUP is coming from an opposite extreme. It wants zero asset sell-offs, no change to the company’s subsalt obligations and for Petrobras to be fully nationalised where it is only partly so at the moment.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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