World Socialist Web Site wsws.org 23 Mar, 2021 04:30 am

Facing COVID-19 outbreaks and privatization, oil workers shut down refineries in Brazil

Facing COVID-19 outbreaks and privatization, oil workers shut down refineries in Brazil
Worsening working conditions and the uncontrolled spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil are provoking strikes and work stoppages at Petrobras refineries.

On Monday, the strike by nearly 900 oil workers at the Landulpho Alves Refinery (RLAM), in Bahia, entered its 18th day.At RLAM, two oil workers died this month after being infected with the coronavirus: operations technician Carlos Alberto, 55, and shift coordinator Wagner Plech, 52.According to a Reuters report, oil workers at the Campos Basin in Rio de Janeiro have pressed charges at the Labor Prosecutor’s Office demanding that Petrobras provides clarification on the spread of the coronavirus on oil and gas platforms, following a spike in cases in March.Considered by the government as “essential,” oil workers are being pushed into highly infected workplaces to ensure a high production of fuels and oil derivatives and meet Petrobras’ demand for profits.

From the beginning of the pandemic until mid-February, 60 oil workers had already died from COVID-19.According to the Oil Workers Federation (FUP) website, “More than 11 percent of Petrobras workers have already been infected.

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