(Recasts with Petrobras’ comments)
BRASILIA, June 14 (Reuters) - Brazil’s Petroleo Brasileiro SA could propose a deal with unions to reduce salaries and working hours and help cut its massive debt, the state-run oil company said on Tuesday.
A similar proposal by former CEO Aldemir Bendine was rejected by unions last year but the company could put the issue back on the table in coming months, a Petrobras spokesman told Reuters in an email.
According to the O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper, the salary cuts to be proposed by Chief Executive Officer Pedro Parente could be as high as 25 percent, starting in September. Parente has pledged to cut Petrobras’ debt of nearly $130 billion without resorting to a government bailout.
Brazil’s main oil workers have opposed the interim government of President Michel Temer, who they believe wants to sell Petrobras and Brazilian resources to foreigners, and held a 24-hour strike last week as part of nationwide protests.
In an effort to control inflation, the government in recent years refused to let Petrobras raise fuel prices when they were high worldwide. As a result, the company accumulated billions of dollars in losses at its refining unit and debt ballooned. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Bill Trott)