San Francisco: Friday’s one-day strike by oil workers in Brazil was described by a spokesman of state oil firm Petrobras as having no negative effect on production because strike action takes at least five days to have any significant impact.
Union workers at 15 oil platforms and at the company’s biggest refineries participated in the action, which also included picketing of some workplaces.
The FUP union called the strike to protest against plans to sell off $15.1 billion of Petrobras assets to help get the troubled company out of a debt hole.
Petrobras has been at the hub of a huge corruption scandal involving rigged contract bids, price fixing and bribery. It has also been hit by the general industry downturn and handcuffed by some of its statutory obligations.
Moves to alleviate some of those obligations have also raised the FUP’s ire.
The union opposes a bill before Brazil’s Senate seeking to strip Petrobras of its right to run all new development work in a giant offshore area known as the Subsalt Polygon.
That bill would also end a requirement that Petrobras takes a minimum 30 percent stake in any significant exploration and production projects.
The FUP prefers to move things in the opposite direction, calling for the full nationalisation of Petrobras. Even though Petrobras is state run it has had non-government shareholders since the 1950s.