Oil workers and truck drivers blocked the entrance of two premises of the Chinese Oil Giant Sinopec in “Santa Cruz” province in the south of Argentina last November 14.
“Sinopec” decided to change 90% of its operations to “Vaca Muerta”, a shale-oil extracting area in Neuquen, in northern “Patagonia” threating 800 jobs in “Cagnadon Seco” and “El Huemul” oil fields in “Santa Cruz”.
Sinopec has been extracting oil in “Santa Cruz” for six years. Oil lower prices has halted new wells bringing the whole production to a standstill.
It does not mean that the company is in the red. Sinopec hires 1.2 million workers across the world. It extracts and refines 4 million cubic metres of crude oil per day and distributes them through a network of 37,000 oil stations across Asia.
Argentinian Ministry of Labour called for compulsory bargaining on November 17. It means freezing the conflict for 15 days while the Argentinian government will call labour unions and Sinopec to compromise.
The question is, however, whether the national priority are jobs over profits or not. Another oil company, the Argentinian Roch announced the termination of contracts with 28 oil workers from “Cuenca Austral” oil field on November 16.