Image courtesy of Petrobras.

As an open-ended strike called against Brazil’s Petrobras approaches its third week oil worker unions are clashing over a proposed deal that would end the industrial action.

According to Reuters, Sindipetro Norte Fluminense, a local oil worker union, told members to leave all Petrobras vessels in the prolific Campos Basin play after it voted to refuse a salary bump offer.

Last week, state-owned Petrobras offered its workers a 9.54 percent salary adjustment, far less than the 18 percent wage hike unions had been demanding.

The order defies a recommendation made by the country’s largest oil worker union, FUP, on Friday to accept the company’s offer and end the strike.

While FUP is encouraging other unions to accept the offer, Sindipetro Norte Fluminense is demanding that the company pay workers for all of the strike days and broaden the scope of a union-management committee that will review contentious budget cut and asset sale plans, Reuters said.

Petrobras has so far offered to pay workers for half of the days they have spent on strike but said it will hold talks with unions on the matter.

Sindipetro Norte Fluminense has members on 51 offshore vessels, including production platforms.

“We want to see if Petrobras can maintain production without our people,” SindipetroNF  Tezeu Bezerr told the news wire.

Apart from a wage hike, the unions are also demanding that Petrobras scrap plans to sell up to $15.1 billion in assets, retain local content rules and ensure it is the sole operator in Brazil’s offshore sub-salt play.

Petrobras said Tuesday that the strike is currently cutting production by 100,000 barrels per day, although union members contend the company is underestimating the strike’s impact.


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