Petrobras: FNP Strike Not Affecting Operations

RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones), Oct. 16, 2009

A strike by six unions representing about one-third of workers at state-run energy giant Petrobras was not affecting operations, the company said in a statement late Thursday.

"The company's operations are normal, with total maintenance of production, as well as normal supply and safety at installations," Petrobras said.

Workers represented by the National Oil Workers Front, or FNP, walked off the job at two refineries in Sao Paulo state and at oil and natural gas fields in Sergipe, Alagoas, Para and Amazonas states, the union said.

The main union for Petrobras' 70,000 workers, the Brazilian Oil Workers Federation -- or FUP -- has not joined the strike and said that it will keep negotiating with Petrobras.

FNP is asking for a 10% salary increase over inflation and better health benefits, including longer maternity leaves, the union said. In September, the union rejected a Petrobras proposal for a 4.4% pay raise over inflation.

In July 2008, oil platform workers in the key Campos Basin walked off the job for five days to protest work issues and a profit-sharing proposal. The walkout caused Petrobras to lose about 63,000 barrels of daily crude output.  

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