Brazil’s oil-workers’ union began a strike on November 1, protesting asset sales and cuts in investment on the part of Petroleo Brasileiro SA, the nation’s state-owned oil company, which is seeking to reduce its enormous debt load, according to Bloomberg.
The Oil Workers Federation, known as the FUP, issued a statement outlining its demands of further investment in the refining network and continuation of Buy in Brazil policies, with a view to protecting jobs.
Petrobras said in an statement to Bloomberg News that the stoppages at some of its plants will not affect production or deliveries to the market.
Petrobras aims to sell $15.1b in 2015 and 2016 to reduce debts and fund investments. Among its recent asset sales was a 49% stake in its gas pipeline unit Gaspetro. The sale to Mitsui & Co Ltd. Raised $490m.
According to Forbes, Petrobras has suffered an 80% loss in market capitalization over the past five years, and holds over $170b in both long-term and short-term debt. The company is also reeling from a corruption scandal involving contractors, politicians and private conglomerates.