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  • Stinky_Link Stinky_Link Jun 14, 1999 12:53 PM Flag

    Best Wishes Brother, do what a Lang

    Sunday June 13, 9:52 pm Eastern
    Time

    Venezuela oil union withdraws strike threat

    CARACAS,
    June 13 (Reuters) - Venezuela's main oil workers union
    late on Sunday
    called off a nationwide strike
    planned for Monday after the government announced
    a
    last-minute pay offer for oil sector workers.

    ''There
    will be no strike,'' Carlos Ortega, head of
    Venezuela's largest oil union, told
    Reuters by telephone.
    ''We're pleased but not satisfied,'' he said after Energy
    and
    Mines Minister Ali Rodriguez said state oil company
    Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA)
    would award workers a
    merit pay increase of between three and six
    percent.

    The threat of an oil strike in the world's third
    largest oil exporter had contributed to a
    recent
    firming of prices despite the fact that PDVSA had said it
    could maintain its output
    at the current level of
    2.7 million barrels per day for at least seven days
    if the walkout
    went ahead.

    Unions
    announced the strike last week after PDVSA said it would
    not award a regular
    salary rise for merit this
    year due to budget constraints. Talks to resolve the
    dispute
    seemed to have broken down earlier on Sunday when PDVSA
    negotiators failed to
    show up for a planned meeting with
    union officials.

    But after a late night meeting
    with President Hugo Chavez in Miraflores
    presidential
    palace, Rodriguez made the surprise announcement of a
    merit increase, albeit smaller
    than last year's
    average rise of eight percent.

    ''There's
    absolutely no reason for a strike in the Venezuelan oil
    sector where salaries
    are significantly higher than
    for other Venezuelan workers,'' Rodriguez said. He
    added
    that the decision to grant the merit rise had been
    taken by the government as the sole
    shareholder in
    PDVSA.

 
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