SHARE
Image courtesy of Petrobras.

Over 6,000 Petrobras workers have reportedly agreed to participate in a voluntary layoff program.

A source told Reuters that about 6,100 Petrobras employees have agreed to participate in the program.

About 21 percent of the company’s workforce, or about 12,000 workers, are eligible to participate in the program.

The deadline for agreeing to participate in the plan is set for the end of August, Reuters said.

If every eligible worker participates, Petrobras would incur immediate costs of about $1.3 billion but will save about $10.25 billion over the next four years, Reuters added.

Petrobras announced the voluntary layoff program in March, just two months after cutting its management headcount by 30 percent.

In January, Petrobras slashed its 2015 to 2019 spending plan down to $98.4 billion, a $32 billion reduction from its previous $130.3 billion budget.

The headcount reductions are part of a cost-cutting effort at the state-owned company as low oil prices and an ongoing corruption scandal squeeze the company’s coffers.

Brazilian authorities have been probing alleged corruption and price-fixing tied to Petrobras contracts since 2014.

In April of last year, Petrobras put a $2 billion price tag on the scandal.

The investigation, known as Operation Car Wash, has landed several executives in jail and prompted former CEO Maria das Graças Silva Foster to resign last year.

Prosecutors believe that some of alleged bribes were used to help fund the Workers’ Party, Brazil’s ruling party from 2013 to the middle of 2016.

Brazil’s interim president Michele Temer has denied allegations that he received campaign donations tied to the corruption scandal.

The probe has also ensnared foreign firms who provided services to Petrobras.

According to the FCPA Blog, services firm SBM Offshore reached a deal with Petrobras and Brazilian prosecutors to resolve corruption allegations.

The agreement calls for SBM will pay Petrobras $342 million through a combination of a cash penalty and discounts on future work.

Petrobras, the most indebted oil company in the world, is also facing a class action lawsuit in the United States tied to the corruption scandal.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff of Manhattan granted class action status to two classes of plaintiffs in February who brought suits against Petrobras for losses tied to the corruption probe.

That lawsuit was put on hold earlier this month pending the resolution of an appeal filed by Petrobras, Reuters said.