Striking Oil Workers Seize Export Terminal in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES – The strike by supervisory personnel of the Argentine division of Spanish oil company Repsol YPF has intensified with the takeover of a crude export terminal, union spokespersons told Efe on Thursday.

In addition to declaring an indefinite strike at YPF’s fields in the southern provinces of Santa Cruz and Chubut, the union members have seized the installations of port operator Terminales Maritimas Patagonicas, known as Termap, outside the coastal city of Comodoro Rivadavia, Chubut.

YPF has a 33 percent stake in Termap, while other oil companies such as Pan American Energy, Total Austral and Royal Dutch Shell also have an interest.

“The takeover was peaceful. Meanwhile the strike at the oil fields continues in hopes the operator (YPF) changes its stance,” the union’s adjunct secretary, Elvio Pena, told Efe.

The union leader said he held talks Thursday in Buenos Aires with Argentine Labor Ministry officials and later will meet with Planning Minister Julio de Vido in a bid to resolve the dispute.

Supervisors in Santa Cruz launched a strike a week ago to demand pay hikes and the accompanying protests led to “acts of violence” at a YPF facility in Las Heras, 2,300 kilometers (1,429 miles) south of Buenos Aires.

The strike has reduced YPF’s production by 20 percent nationwide, spokespersons for Argentina’s leading oil company told Efe earlier this week.

They also pointed out that YPF and other energy firms signed a “social peace” accord last month with the unions and the government aimed at averting interruptions of production. EFE

This entry was posted in resistance and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.