Oil Workers Unions Protest Against Sale of Petrobras Refineries and Threaten a National  Strike

Unions of oil workers across the country, linked to the Single Federation of Oil Tankers (FUP), held a national act of protest in front of Petrobras refineries located from north to south of Brazil, in protest against the privatization of the company’s refining units. The movement began at the Landulpho Alves Refinery (RLAM), in Bahia, against the sale of the plant, which the oil companies say is at half the fair price. As a reminder, RLAM was sold to the Arab fund Mubadala, for US$ 1.8 billion, considered 50% below market value, according to the Institute for Strategic Studies in Oil, Natural Gas and Biofuels (Ineep); and 35% below the fair price, according to BTG Pactual. The privatization of the Bahia refinery, the second largest in the country, with a processing capacity of 330,000 barrels/day, was concluded on November 30th.

Protests were also held at the Isaac Sabbá refineries (REMAN), in Amazonas, at the Shale Industrialization Unit (SIX), in Paraná and at the refineries fo  Alberto Pasqualini (Refap/RS); Paulínia (Replan/SP); Gabriel Passos (Regap/MG); Duke of Caixias (Reduc/RJ); Northeast Lubricants and Derivatives (Lubnor/CE); Potiguar Clara Camarao (RPCC/RN) Transpetro units and at the Madre de Deus Terminal (TEMADRE), in Bahia. Deyvid Bacelar, general coordinator of the FUP, stated that the sale of the refineries violates the Federal Constitution. There is a process by the National Congress for the Federal Supreme Court (STF) to judge the merits of the action of unconstitutionality of the sale of refineries without authorization from the Legislative Power: “They are taking assets from the parent company, Petrobras, transforming them into subsidiaries and privatizing these artificially created subsidiaries. With that, they escape the bidding process and the scrutiny of the National Congress.”

The FUP and affiliated unions said they will continue to fight in court to reverse the privatization of RLAM and stop the sale of the other refineries. Several lawsuits are pending in court, still without judgment. There is a process of the National Congress for the STF to judge the merits of the action of unconstitutionality of the sale of refineries without authorization from the Legislative Power. In addition to these initiatives, the Deliberative Council of the FUP approved a calendar of actions against privatizations in Petrobras, which includes a national strike.

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