Petrobras: Fuel supplies unaffected by union strike


RIO DE JANEIRO--Brazilian state-run energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro, or Petrobras, said Wednesday that crude-oil production and fuel supplies haven't been affected by an ongoing workers' strike.

“The company’s operational activities are working normally,” the company said.

The Brazilian Oil Workers Federation, or FUP, started a 24-hour "warning" strike at midnight, with workers declining to change shifts at refineries, terminals and inland oil fields. Workers at offshore platforms will perform only routine services, a spokeswoman said.

FUP is an umbrella union that negotiates on behalf of 12 affiliated unions across Brazil. It represents nearly 60,000 of Petrobras's 75,000 employees.

“Petrobras awaits the return of unions to the negotiation table, and [the company] expects to reach a deal,” Petrobras said.

Strikes such as Wednesday’s typically involve slowdowns and work-to-rule actions and have a limited effect on operations because of their short duration.

The work action, however, comes as Petrobras struggles to boost crude-oil output amid ongoing maintenance at offshore platforms. The company also registered its first quarterly loss in more than a decade in the second quarter because of heavy fuel imports and a weaker Brazilian real.

Workers were protesting Petrobras’s latest salary offer, the union spokeswoman said. Petrobras said the company last week offered a 6.5% raise and a one-time bonus payment.

The union's directors, meanwhile, will meet Friday to discuss possible dates for a larger strike.

The last major strike at Petrobras took place in July 2008, when oil workers walked off the job for five days to protest work issues and profit-sharing proposals.

The strike cost Petrobras about 63,000 bpd of crude-oil production.

Dow Jones Newswires

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