Brazilian oil workers have begun a 24 hour strike in an effort to halt moves to shrink state-run oil company Petrobas. Union workers, led by FUP – the country’s largest federation of oil workers for refineries and oil platforms – called for employees to walk off their jobs on Thursday at midnight. Petrobas has announced plans to sell $15.1billion of assets by the end of 2016 in a bid to pay down debt.
A labor union representing Total SA workers has called for a France-wide strike July 2 at refineries, oil depots and crude import terminals to protest a plan to stop processing the fuel at the La Mede plant in southern France. The La Mede refinery near Marseille has been idled since June 11 due to a strike by about 15 workers led by the CGT union, which called for the additional disruptions Thursday, according to a spokesman for Total. Talks with all unions on the plan for the site continue, he said.
France's CGT union on Monday called on workers at all oil refineries, depots and port loading terminals to strike on July 2 to protest against Total's plans to end refining at its La Mede plant on the south coast. In a statement, the CGT also called for Total's service stations to be blocked every Thursday this summer until the oil company withdraws its proposals for La Mede.
Norwegian oil-rig unions and employers started government-backed mediation on Wednesday in a final bid to avoid a strike that could shut down two North Sea oil fields. Talks started at 10 a.m. Oslo time, said Benedikte Naess, spokeswoman for the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, which is representing employers. If the parties fail to reach a deal by midnight, 189 workers will go on strike on two Teekay Corp.- owned production ships on the Knarr and Varg fields starting Thursday, the SAFE union has said. Those fields represent less than 2 percent of Norway’s total oil and gas production.
Trade unions have shelved plans for a strike action ballot over North Sea working conditions following negotiations with industry bosses yesterday. Last night the Unite union said the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) tabled an improved offer for offshore workers during the latest round of talks in Aberdeen. Unite regional officer Willie Wallace, said: “Today’s talks have been constructive and we have made enough progress to be able to put an improved offer from the OCA to our membership."
The Government has been warned it faces resistance to cuts amid an increase in industrial unrest since the general election. A threatened bank holiday rail strike was averted after Network Rail improved a pay offer, but many other disputes have broken out, or worsened, since the Conservatives took power. Steel workers, probation staff, London Underground employees, North Sea oil workers and university lecturers are among those involved in industrial rows over a range of issues including pay, pensions and jobs.
One of the largest offshore trade unions has announced it is to ballot members on possible strike action amid an ongoing dispute over terms and conditions in the North Sea. The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, which represents about 5,000 workers, said it is planning a "rolling programme" of action designed to have the "maximum effect" on operations. The RMT, along with Unite and the GMB, has railed against what it is describes as an "unprecedented assault" on the workforce during a downturn in the industry.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc and the United Steelworkers’ union will resume talks Monday on a new labor contract after ending discussions today without a resolution to the largest oil worker strike since 1980. The two sides will meet in Houston, the union said in a statement. The discussions come amid a walkout that’s widened to 12 refineries accounting for almost 20 percent of the capacity in the US Shell is leading the negotiations with the 30,000-strong United Steelworkers on behalf of companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc and the United Steelworkers, which represents 30,000 US oil workers, are said to be planning to restart talks this week to resolve a labor dispute as more workers joined in the nation’s biggest refinery strike since 1980. The two sides will meet on Wednesday for the first time since negotiations broke up on Feb. 20 without a deal, according to two people familiar with the talks. The USW, with members at more than 200 refineries, fuel terminals, pipelines and chemical plants across the US, ordered workers last week at Motiva Enterprises LLC’s Port Arthur refinery in Texas, the nation’s largest, to join a nationwide walkout, and issued notices for three other plants to go on strike.
A North Sea employers’ body has dismissed a possible strike threat by unions as “premature”. Talks between the Unite and GMB unions and the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA), which represents employers, broke down last Friday over proposed changes to rotations and holiday entitlement. About 2,500 contractors will now be balloted on a range of responses which could even result in them downing tools. Bill Murray, chief executive for the OCA, said the North Sea was going through “a challenging time” and savings were needed until the oil price picks up again.
The United Steelworkers union, which represents employees at more than 200 US oil refineries, terminals, pipelines and chemical plants, began a strike at nine sites on Sunday, the biggest walkout called since 1980. The USW started the work stoppage after failing to reach agreement on a labor contract that expired Sunday, saying in a statement that it “had no choice.” The union rejected five contract offers made by Royal Dutch Shell Plc on behalf of oil companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. since negotiations began on January 21.
Nigeria’s two oil unions began an indefinite strike that they say will curb exports from the West African nation responsible for pumping more than a quarter of the continent’s crude. “You will soon begin to see shutdowns of our oil flow,” Emmanuel Ojugbana, a spokesman of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, said. Ohi Alegbe, an Abuja-based spokesman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. and the Oil Ministry, declined to comment on exports. Any reduction in pumping would coincide with a collapse in the price of Nigeria’s biggest source of revenue.