Brazilian oil workers begin strikes
RIO DE JANEIRO, May 31, 2018 – Oil workers in at least eight of Brazil’s refineries began a 72-hour strike on Wednesday, despite a court ruling that such actions were illegal.
The workers, who demanded that Petrobras CEO Pedro Parente be removed from his position and that the NOC’s market-based fuel pricing scheme be dismantled, also walked off the job at some of the country’s lubricants, gas and nitrogen plants, in addition to some port facilities.
“We can guarantee that these 72 hours will not see supply problems because the refineries have full tanks,” the oil workers’ federation said in a statement. “This strike is not being held to hurt society, but to open a debate.”
Though the strike is expected to be mild, the union has said it would hold an indefinite strike in June if its demands are not met.
On Tuesday, Brazil’s Superior Labour Court deemed the demonstration illegal and set daily fines of up to BRL 500,000 (USD 134,038) for strikers.
Petrobras switched to a new pricing scheme in 2016 aimed to provide a boost for the Brazilian economy. Since then, fuel prices have nearly doubled. The trend sparked country-wide strikes by truck drivers last week that caused severe shortages of goods and heavy financial losses throughout multiple key sectors.
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