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  • A worker paints a tank of Brazil

    A worker paints a tank of Brazil's state-run Petrobras oil company in Brasilia, Brazil, Sept. 30, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Petrobras has decided to go to court with a request for conciliation to continue the negotiation with the unions.

Oil workers in Brazil began a strike Friday that has paralyzed all activities at Petrobras’ refineries and maritime platforms, union leaders say.

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According to the Federation of Petroleum Workers, or FUP, the largest trade union in the sector, workers rejected the salary increase proposed by the state-owned company and affiliated unions have already approved the federation's calls for the use of strikes.

The FUP also called the adjustment in salaries “insufficient,” and said Petrobras is in breach of the 2016/2017 Collective Work Agreement.

Meanwhile, Petrobras said in a statement that it has been notified by the trade union entities about the strike, and assured that there is no harm to the company's activities and that it is taking measures to guarantee the safety of workers and facilities.

Petrobras has decided to go to court with a request for conciliation to continue the negotiation with the unions, since it considers that in all meetings held earlier there were advances to meet the demands of workers within the company's financial constraints.

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The Latin American oil giant, which accounts for about 13 percent of Brazil's gross domestic product and has about 85,000 workers, faces a deep economic crisis aggravated by the huge corruption scandal that has already sent company executives and politicians to prison.

All of this, coupled with the plummeting oil prices, has led the company to accumulate estimated losses of about US$5.3 billion between January and October of 2016.

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