Petrobras workers at Campos Basin started indefinite strike, against the latest wage increase offer by the Brazilian oil firm. The company proposed wage increase of 6%, which is below the country’s inflation rate of 8.9%. According to the workers and trade union FUP, the company should propose increase at least covering the inflation to keep their standard of living. Moreover, the strikers are also unhappy with the plans of Petrobras to change the employees contracts, so the company could reduce the number of working hours for employees.
According to Brazilian labor laws, workers have the right to renegotiate pay and benefits every year on specific dates. Workers usually try to convince companies to increase salaries to levels at least close to the inflation accumulated in the previous 12 months, to compensate for lost purchasing power.
“The proposed contract revision that Petrobras presented to FUP and its unions is an affront to workers”, said the FUP coordinator, Jose Maria Rangel. “Nothing is going to guarantee our demands, the maintenance of our salaries except a fight. FUP and its unions will provide a tough response”, added the coordinator.
However, Petrobras is implementing restructuring, assets sales and cost reduction in attempt to reduce the 125 billion USD debt, accumulated after the corruption scandal and drop in oil prices.
Campos Basin is oil rich area, covering both onshore and offshore fields. It is the most productive region of oil production in the country, accounting for 60% of the Brazilian output.