Brazil's Petrobras to axe 12,000 jobs

petrobras offices Image copyright Reuters

Brazil's state-run oil producer, Petrobras, has said it will cut 12,000 jobs by 2020.

The voluntary layoff programme will help save $9bn at the company, which has struggled with losses following a price-fixing and bribery scandal.

It has also been hit by the global slump in the price of oil.

Petrobras, which has reported losses for the last two financial years, is expected to spend $1.23bn on implementing the job cuts plan.

Petrobras has long been one of the biggest employers in Brazil, with more than 80,000 employees.

However, it has seen its business hit by the huge falls in oil prices globally and one of the biggest corruption scandals in the country's history, which has gone to the heart of the country's government.

The announcement that 12,000 jobs are to be cut over the next five years is part of a investment plan to turn around the company's fortunes.

Analysis: Daniel Gallas, South America business correspondent

These are not good years for oil companies, as there is an oversupply in the market and global prices are hitting record lows.

But for Petrobras - embroiled in a massive corruption scandal - things are even worse.

The company has recorded two consecutive years of heavy losses and stopped paying dividends. Shares have dropped 50% in value since investigations began.

Chief executive Aldemir Bendine's answer to the crisis is downsizing.

Petrobras is drastically reducing its numbers - of employees, assets and investments - in order to become competitive again.

If Petrobras is to become great again, it will first have to turn itself into a smaller and more efficient company.

It reported its biggest quarterly loss to date in the final three months of last year - $10.2bn - after losses at its oil fields and refinery projects.

The corruption scandal involving price-fixing, bribery and political kickbacks over the last two years has dented confidence in the business. Some former Petrobras executives have been jailed.

The scandal has also harmed the reputation of President Dilma Rousseff, who was on the board of the company at the time of the offences.

Ms Rousseff is facing the possibility of impeachment on unrelated charges of false accounting.


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