Petrobras oil workers set to strike

Oil workers at state-controlled Brazilian energy giant Petrobras will strike for five days from Monday and attempt to cut crude output in protest over job cuts, pay and working conditions.

The main oil workers’ union, the FUP, was due to meet with Petrobras President Jose Sergio Gabrielli this afternoon and the company said it hoped to avert a stoppage. FUP coordinator Joao Antonio de Moraes told Reuters the strike, which would involve workers at Petrobras facilities in different parts of the Latin American country, would aim to reduce but not halt oil production. “We will try to affect production. We will try to reduce production volumes but without jeopardising basic Petrobras services,” he said, adding that union members would consider after the fifth day whether to continue or return to work. The union has often threatened industrial action in the past but later retreated after negotiations. But it did proceed with a stoppage last July which briefly reduced output. De Moraes said the FUP intended to cause greater disruption this time round than during last year’s stoppage. Petrobras said during that strike that output fell by 63,000 barrels per day on the first day, but it implemented a contingency plan that almost fully restored production by that evening. The strike lasted for five days but Petrobras said production was unaffected from the second day.

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