Union seeks talks with Petrobras CEO as strike continues

Brazil’s main oil workers federation of unions, the FUP, is seeking to meet with the CEO of the state-run oil company Petrobras as the strike approaches the end of its second week.

The union says it wants to discuss Petrobras’ offer, made on Wednesday, of a 9.54 percent wage increase. The amount is barely half of that demanded by the union.

Since the strike began on Sunday November 1 production has been hit at several of the company’s offshore drilling sites. Petrobras has acknowledged that the industrial action has hit production by about 115,000 barrels per day, about 5.5% of normal output.

Earlier in the week, management had cancelled planned Tuesday talks with the FUP.

Apart from the pay issue, strikers are demanding a halt to austerity measures that Petrobras insists are necessary for it to improve its financial plight as the world’s most indebted oil company at a time of slumping prices.

The union’s main objections are to cuts in budgets and workforce and the sell-off of company assets.

Meanwhile, Petrobras asked the country’s oil regulator ANP to declare the Sepia Leste field commercially viable, allowing it to move to production.

The field is about 250km offshore Rio de Janeiro in the Santos Basin and is estimated to contain about 130m barrels of oil and equivalent natural gas.

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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