Image courtesy of Petrobras/Flickr.

Just over 11,700 workers have agreed to participate in a voluntary layoff program announced by Brazil’s Petrobras earlier this year.

According to the Wall Street Journal, 11,704 employees at the state-owned firm signed on to the voluntary layoff program.

The deadline to sign up for the program ended in late August.

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

The program is expected to cost about $1.2 billion and could generate more than $10 billion in savings through 2020, the Wall Street Journal said.

News of the program broke in March, just two months after Petrobras cut its management headcount by nearly one-third.

Petrobras announced a plan in January to cut its management headcount in non-operational areas by 30 percent, a move the company hopes will produce about $442 million in annual savings.

The headcount reductions are part of a broader cost-cutting effort at Petrobras, currently the most indebted oil company in the world.

Low oil prices and a years long corruption scandal prompted Petrobras to lower its 2015 to 2019 spending plan down to $98.4 billion, a $32 billion reduction from its spending target.

The probe, known as Operation Car Wash, has focused on bribes and kickbacks allegedly  paid by several engineering and energy firms to win Petrobras contracts.

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

Petrobras reported a second quarter net income of $115.75 billion (R$370 million), up from a loss of $380 million in the first quarter of 2016.


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