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Brazil oil workers suspend Petrobras strike due to a favorable court order

Prensa Latina

Workers of the Brazilian state-owned mixed economy company Petrobras approved a provisional suspension of the strike that began on February 1 following a meeting of the deliberative council of the Unique Federation of Oil Companies (FUP).

By Nathan Walters/Argus

Petroleumworld 02 24 2020

Brazil's oil labor federation (FUP) suspended a strike at state-controlled Petrobras after a labor court temporarily blocked the company's plan to lay off employees at a fertilizer plant.

Petrobras' mid-January decision to mothball the loss-making Fafen-PR fertilizer plant and cut payroll was a top FUP grievance. But the nearly three-week strike was more broadly aimed at thwarting Petrobras' sweeping divestment plans.

The union warned that it remains on notice to resume the strike pending court decisions next month.

An 18 February decision by a regional labor court (TRT) forced Petrobras to hold off on firing the fertilizer plant workers. The full TRT in Parana state is scheduled to make a final ruling on 6 March. Separately, the supreme labor court that ruled the strike illegal on 17 February is expected to hear FUP's appeal on 9 March.

Petrobras is scheduled to meet with FUP leaders tomorrow in Brasilia for negotiations urged by the country's supreme labor court.

Over the course of the strike that started on 1 February, the FUP touted the participation of around 21,000 workers at 58 platforms and 11 refineries, among other installations.

Petrobras did not report any impact on upstream and downstream operations, which it said it was able to sustain with the help of contingency crews.

The strike was the longest since a 32-day work action in 1995. A continuation of the strike threatened to sap fuel supplies during Brazil's popular Carnival season.


By Nathan Walters from Argus Media 02 20


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