Brazil oil strike spreads

Brazilian oil workers on Thursday expanded a strike that was limited to platforms in the Campos Basin to all production and refining units of state-run energy company Petrobras.

Submitted by Ed on July 19, 2008

Petrobras said on Thursday output at its platforms, refineries and distribution units was not affected by the strike. But the unions will vote next week on a proposal to stop production in a nationwide strike planned for Aug. 5.

The national umbrella union for oil workers known as FUP said the two-day strike that began at midnight on Wednesday would not stop production, but could cause disruptions to shift changes at refineries and other installations. The FUP union officials want better profit-sharing terms from Petrobras at a time of record international oil prices.

The nationwide strike comes on the tail end of a smaller five-day strike that began at midnight on Sunday, organized by the Norte Fluminense Oil Workers Union. That strike affected production on nearly all production rigs in the Campos Basin, which accounts for 85 percent of Petrobras' oil output.

"Petrobras has not advanced its offer about our main demand that departure days from platforms be counted as work days nor has it made an offer about profit sharing," Jose Maria Rangel, coordinator of the Norte Fluminense Oil Workers Union, told Reuters. "We will complete the strike and meet next week to set a nationwide strike with FUP."

The Norte Fluminense Union and Petrobras sat down to discuss terms on Wednesday, but the talks ended in a stalemate.

Rangel said his union would meet soon to vote on whether to accept a limited offer by Petrobras that would help guarantee workers the 11 hours of rest the workers say they are entitled to in between 12-hour shifts on the platforms. The union began dampening production in the Campos Basin at midnight on Sunday, reducing Petrobras daily output by 300,000 to 400,000 barrels initially.

A five-day nationwide strike by Petrobras workers in 2001 slashed output and forced Brazil to import more oil.

Comments

comuna2

15 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by comuna2 on July 21, 2008

Directly from Bacia de Campos:
hello dear comrads, I´m an oil worker here in Bacia de Campos, so I tell you a bit about the situation now and the perspectives for the near future.
I was onboarding today, july 21, and I was not here during the stop. But as people related it was a very strong movement on which most of the workers agreed and took part. The production was just not stoped for a long while cause they where onboarding all the bosses, and even managers and engineres, who had to open the valves themselves. In some oil rigs people just closed the valves and gave the control to the managers, and in some others (5 or 6) people stayed with the control of the plant for one day and so. On these rigs people only gave the control back to the managers when the trade union send a general note telling people to do so cause the plans for maintaining the control was not working in most of the rigs, so it would be uneseful to maintain the strugle in some few units.
After that, there was an assembly, where the general balance was very positive, and the workers have very positive mood. Cause even when it was not actually a vitory, it was a shown of strenght and unit of the branch. Some proposals were aproved. They still need to be voted on the local assemblies, which will occur on the days 25 and 26. the aproved proposals were: partial paralization, (without stoping the prodution) from the 28 till the 31 July. Than starting on the days 5 of August, a national strike, not only in the Bacia de Campos but in all units, refenaries and offices. There is still the posibility that the company is making a new proposal which could avoid the strike, but if things keep on the way they are, the tendency is the people will not only aprove the strike but they will go to action more prepared than they did the last time, with good posibilities of taking the control of the production much stronger.

At this moment thats most of what I can tell, but there is a lot of dialog going on and I´ll try to write again as soon as there is something new.

If anyone wants to know something more or anyhow get in contact, can send me a mail at [email protected]

I would especially like to get in contact with oil workers from other places, cause always when there are long strikes of oil workers, the governaments need to buy oil from somewhere else to guarantee the suply. For instance, when there was the recent strike on the Grangemouth refinery in scotland. Here is a list of shipments of oil send to there from abroad:
· Antares from Teesport - 5,700 tonnes - Diesel and
Kerosene
· BIT Octania from Gothenburg - 10,000 tonnes - Diesel
· Alsterstern from Amsterdam - 12-14,000 tonnes -
Diesel
· Bro Developer from Rotterdam - 14,000 tonnes -
Diesel
· Audacity from Immingham - 1,850 tonnes - Motorspirit
· Anefani from Rotterdam - 14,000 tonnes - Diesel
· Humber Fisher from Teesport - 4,000 tonnes - Diesel
and Kerosene
Also, when there was the oil workers strike here in Brasil in 1995, the governament of venezuela sent a lot of oil to here to avoit the efects of the strike.

So the same way that the companies and theyr governaments are totally solidary when its a questions of class struggle, the same we should do. Lets say for instance if it would be possible, i dont say even to make a common strike, but at least to agree to make them in the same period, the strikes would potencialize each other a lot. In this direction the movements shall develop.
r greetings for all
O

Kattmannen

15 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Kattmannen on July 25, 2008

That's interesting with the shipments and all. Maybe build some alliances with dockers would be a good idea?