Argentina's Oil Workers End Strike After Inking Deal on Safety
Unions representing thousands of striking Argentine oil workers called off a strike after a meeting with business leaders ended in a deal on greater safety measures and training for employees.
Unions representing thousands of striking Argentine oil workers called off a strike on 23 September that they began the day before after a meeting with business leaders ended in a deal on greater safety measures and training for employees.
The workers launched the strike on 22 September after a fire in a storage tank caused an explosion at the New American Oil refinery in the town of Plaza Huincul in western Neuquen province.
The blast left three dead and one injured.
Union leaders, representatives of oil companies, and local government officials signed a deal designed to improve "training programs and prepare active personnel and future workers on issues of on-the-job safety."
The deal also requires spending to ensure compliance with regulations, according to a copy of the deal released by one of the unions.
Before reaching the agreement, Marcelo Rucci, secretary general of the Private Oil and Gas Union of Rio Negro, Neuquen, and La Pampa, the country's largest oil union, stressed that improvements in safety are a matter of life and death.
"This is a job, not a war to go and die in," he said, noting that 15 workers have died over the past 5 years from work-related accidents.