Hold-out regional unions to continue Brazil oil strike
SAO PAULO Nov 14 (Reuters) - Key regional oilworker unions in Brazil's Campos Basin and at the Reduc refinery outside of Rio de Janeiro voted on Saturday to ignore calls by the country's largest oilworkers' union to end a strike which started 14 days ago.
Leaders of the largest oilworkers' union known as FUP on Friday proposed ending the most disruptive strike in 20 years at state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras.
Sindipetro Norte Fluminense, the union for oilworkers that run most of the platforms in the Campos Basin voted early on Saturday to continue their strike despite FUP's call to end it. The Campos Basin accounts for more than 60 percent of Brazil's oil output.
The Sindipetro Norte Fluminense said on its website that members voted 601 to 192 to continue the strike.
Sindipetro Caxias, the union that represents most of the workers employed at the Refinery in Duque de Caxias, outside of Rio, also voted today to continue the strike.
Other oilworker unions in Rio Grande do Norte state and Rio Grande do Sul state have already voted to end the strike in accordance to FUP's recommendation.
"FUP considers the strike a victory, but the local unions and their workers are autonomous," said union spokeswoman Alessandra Muteira, She added that the workers at Duque de Caxias want Petrobras to pay them for all the days while they were on strike instead of just half as is currently proposed.
Union representatives at Sindipetro Norte Fluminense did not respond to calls for comment Saturday afternoon.
When oilworkers began their strike Nov. 1, their main grievance regarded Petrobras' plans to cut investments and sell assets to bring its massive $130 billion debt under control.
Petrobras on Thursday reported a $1.01 billion third-quarter loss, the third loss in the past five quarters.
In the latest negotiations, oilworkers secured a 9.5 percent wage hike in the negotiations and got Petrobras to agree to set up a worker-management committee to explore ways to restore investments. (Reporting by Gustavo Bonato, Reese Ewing and Jeb Blount in Rio de Janeiro; Editing by David Gregorio)
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