Brazil workers extend Rio de Janeiro refinery strike

15 February 2013 22:46  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Construction workers at Brazilian state oil company Petrobras’ Comperj project have decided to extend a labour strike as disparities in wages and allowances continue, a Brazilian labour union said on Friday.

The 15,000-worker strong strike, which began on 6 February, will continue until at least 19 February, said the Civil Construction Worker’s Union for Sao Goncalo, Itaborai and Regiao (Sinticom).

Sinticom representatives and Comperj management will meet on 19 February to discuss the union’s demands, Sinticom said.

According to trade union confederation Central Sindical e Popular (CSP), Sinticom workers are demanding a 12% wage increase, meal vouchers and compensation for travel time.

“We hope our employers will submit new proposals that will resolve this impasse,” said a spokesperson for Sinticom.

Petrobras said in January that union action and ongoing delays in contracting utilities had pushed initial start-up to 2015.

The current strike is the sixth since construction of the complex began in 2010.

Petrobras added that the total investment required for the construction of Comperj had been increased from an initial $8bn (€6bn) to $12.7bn.

The Complexo Petroquimico do Rio de Janeiro (Comperj) will include refineries, a world-scale ethane cracker, along with downstream polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) units.

Negotiations are continuing that would see Brazilian chemical major Braskem develop the petrochemical side of the complex.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Simon West

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