PDVSA and Oil Unions Begin Negotiations

PDVSA will start talks with oil labor unions later this week for a new collective contract. PDVSA and the union organizations should strive to reach a new collective work agreement that stimulates better relations between compensation and productivity, because the economic benefits for the workers must increase as much as the value that is added to the company. Last month, officials from Fedepetrol had said they could call a 24-hour work stoppage if contract talks became bogged down. Fedepetrol later backed off the threat, saying it was counting on a resolution for the contract through dialogue. PDVSA said it expects a quick resolution to the negotiations. The union's current collective contract will expire on October 21, 2002.