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Uruguayan workers strike against Petrobras

Protesters threat to bring gas supply to a halt in case of dismissals

Published in 22/05/2019 - 18:49

By Marieta Cazarré Montevideo

Uruguay’s capital on Wednesday (May 22) witnessed a strike in support of the workers from company MontevideoGas, a subsidiary of Petrobras. Press advisers told Agência Brasil its activities remain unchanged.

The Unified Workers Center of Uruguay (Pit-Cnt) called the demonstration, which started outside the city hall at 10 am and proceeded up to the Independence square, outside Petrobras offices.

According to Gabriel Molina, press adviser with Pit-Cnt, the rally today “is not just another one.” He said workers are advocating a complex set of demands.

Workers from the Federation of Public Health Workers and the Confederation of Organizations of State Workers joined the demonstration. Members of Uruguay’s Association of Bank Workers took part in the stoppage only partly, with tellers off until 1:30 pm in some banks in the city’s metropolitan area.

Dismissals

The conflict between gas workers and Petrobras in the country has lasted for months. On one side, the oil giant says it has faced a deficit and unveiled its plan to leave the country and fire the equivalent of 60 percent of the firm’s payroll. Workers are asking Petrobras to keep all employees while preparing its departure from the country.

Petrobras owns companies MontevideoGas and Conecta, which provide gas supply services in the country’s capital and other places in Uruguay, respectively.

Gas unionist Alejandro Acosta said that, should there not be any significant change and the demands made by the workers are not granted, a general strike in the gas sector will start on May 27 with no fixed date to end.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira Edition: Valéria Aguiar / Nira Foster

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