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Labour Court Rules Against Petrobras in Billion Dollar Lawsuit

06/22/2018 - 12h47



On Wednesday, the 21st, Petrobras lost the biggest lawsuit it had ever faced in Brazil's Labour Court system. In a close 13 to 12 ruling, the Superior Labour Court (TST) found that the company will have to pay over R$ 15 billion (US$ 4 billion) to employees who questioned the company's wage policy and raise the company's annual payroll by R$ 2 billion (US$ 532 million).

The company stated that it will appeal the TST's decision and take the lawsuit to the Supreme Court (STF).

Petrobras also stated that the amounts in question that were imposed by the court have not been absorbed by the company and that it will continue to position itself in this manner as long as it can appeal the court's ruling.

In a session that lasted approximately 10 hours, the justices appraised the validity of the Minimum Remuneration Level Regime (RMNR), which was implemented in 2007, altering the company's labour policy in order to update employees' salaries.

Fotos: Fellipe Sampaio /TST
Petrobras said it will appeal the Superior Labor Court's ruling in the case, brought by oil workers seeking more pay
Petrobras said it will appeal the Superior Labor Court's ruling in the case, brought by oil workers seeking more pay

Petrobras and the employees who sued the company did not manage to reach an agreement when it came to calculating bonuses paid to employees working under risk-prone circumstances or employees taking night shifts.

Negotiations between the company and unions took place in order to implement the RMNR, which included bonuses for those working in danger-prone circumstances and guaranteed that employees with the same position and working in the same region would have equal wages. Additionally, employees working in administrative areas started getting paid the same wages as co-workers who had operational roles.

The lawsuit is directly connected to the main tenet of Brazil's labour reform, which was approved last year and privileges agreements over legal findings.


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