Brazilian oil, gas platform worker union cancels strike

The Sindipetro-NF union, which represents oil and gas platform workers in Brazil, has decided to cancel a strike against state-owned Petrobras originally planned to begin on Aug. 5.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 6 -- The Sindipetro-NF union, which represents oil and gas platform workers in Brazil, has decided to cancel a strike against state-owned Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) originally planned to begin on Aug. 5 (OGJ Online, Aug. 4, 2008).

Workers originally called for the strike in an effort to win payment from Petrobras for the time they spend traveling from their platforms. The workers, who work 14 days on platforms and then have 21 days off, wanted Petrobras to count the 15th day—spent in transit—as a working day.

The union agreed to call off its planned strike after Petrobras offered to count the 15th day as half-time and also make it retroactive to 2005.

A 5-day strike by the platform workers over the same demand caused Petrobras to lose some 63,000 b/d of production in the Campos basin in mid-July. It is the second time in a week that Petrobras has been able to avert potentially disruptive labor actions by its workers.

Earlier, the Federacion Unica de Petroleros (FUP) called off its nationwide strike—planned for Aug. 5—after Petrobras agreed to meet the demands of the workers for increased profit-sharing. In an effort to avert the nationwide strike, Petrobras agreed to raise the amount of profit shared with workers to 15% from 13%. It also agreed to improve its distribution of profits, which form the most part were given largely to managers and high-level executives.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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