Petrobras workers go into “strike state” in Brazil

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Rio de Janeiro, Dec 22 (EFE) .- The Unitary Federation of Oil Workers (FUP) and its affiliated unions will close this year in a “state of national strike”, in protest of the “threats from the Government” of a possible privatization of Petrobras , the largest company in Brazil, the association reported on Wednesday.

According to Brazilian union regulations, going on strike means that Petrobras workers, most of whom are affiliated with the FUP, are already on the alert to stand up if the government decides to take control of the state from the oil company.

“This means that, if President Jair Bolsonaro has the audacity to present to the National Congress the bill that provides for the sale of the state company, one of the strongest work stoppages in the history of the sector is already marked.” said Deyvid Bacelar, general coordinator of the (FUP), quoted in a statement.

According to a survey by the Inter-Union Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies (Dieese), mentioned by the union organization, from March 2015 to November 2021, Petrobras sold 78 assets, 70 in Brazil and eight abroad.

Of this amount, 76% was sold during the Bolsonaro government, for a total of 152,000 million reais (about 26,666 million dollars.

“These sales reflect the will of the current government to destroy Petrobras, Brazilian assets, at a bargain price,” laments Bacelar.

However, the state oil company has attributed the sale of a good part of its assets to the company’s strategic plan that seeks to reduce the company’s debt and concentrate its work on the coveted pre-salt marine areas, the exploitation horizon that is below of a layer of salt two kilometers thick and whose gigantic reserves can make Brazil one of the world’s largest oil exporters.

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The idea of ​​privatizing Petrobras began to take hold since last October, due to the strong criticism that the government has received for the continuous increases in gasoline.

For this reason, Bolsonaro has repeatedly indicated his “desire” to sell to Petrobras, a desire shared by his Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, who has already mentioned that the Government is considering selling part of its controlling stake in the state oil company. to finance social programs for families in vulnerable conditions.

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