PDVSA has been able to keep operations running for several days during past strikes utilizing non-unionized management staff to maintain normal production.
Employees and managers are demanding the resignation of five of seven new members of the board of directors sworn in by President Hugo Chavez last week. They say the appointments politicize the company and will hurt its competitiveness.
Operations at the company's headquarters continued Tuesday amid normal security as employees prepared to stage an after-work peace protest in which they wave banners. Workers and executives have held similar daily, peaceful protests since the appointments.
PDVSA President Gaston Parra said on Tuesday he was hopeful the two sides could resolve the conflict through discussions, "We have sought a dialogue in a frank, open manner to find a viable solution (to the situation)," Parra said. Chavez had named economist and political ally Parra to the top position in PDVSA in February, replacing Gen. Guaicaipuro Lameda who had become increasingly critical of the administration's energy policies.
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