Brazil’s Petrobras Workers Threaten August Nationwide Strike

Brazil's Petrobras workers Offshore oil workers from Brazil's oil multinational Petrobras have ended a five-day walkout but warned they may call a new, nationwide strike against the state-controlled company next month. Petrobras issued a statement saying the strike and a later work slowdown by refinery workers had not affected production levels.

The Norte Fluminense Oil Workers Union started a five-day strike at midnight Sunday, demanding workers' departure days from oil platforms be counted as paid work days. Petrobras offered overtime pay instead of the extra day off but this was rejected by the union.

The union represents workers on offshore production rigs in the Campos Basin, which accounts for 85% of Petrobras' crude output. Production fell in the early hours of the strike on Monday but Petrobras got output back to normal by early Tuesday after emergency crews were dispatched to platforms.

The walkout involved some 4.500 workers in the Campos basin. Petrobras, one of the world largest oil companies, pumps an average of 1.6 million barrels of crude a day.

Regional chapters of the unions will meet over the next few days leading up to a general meeting on July 25. At that time they will vote on whether to go ahead with a national strike planned for August 5 that would target production at offshore rigs, refineries and distribution centers.

"We are going to sit down today to discuss where we are weak and were we are strong so that when we go on strike with a broader action there won't be problems," said union director José Genivaldo Silva.

Mercopress

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