Approximately 4,000 employees of Colombia's Pacific Rubiales oil company went on strike Monday after labor and wage negotiations failed.
"Negotiations between Pacific Rubiales Energy and the USO (Sindical Obreras Union) are broken because the company did not have anything to negotiate despite the fact that the union had lowered their salary pretensions with the hopes of reaching an agreement," USO Vice President German Osma declared.
Pacific Rubiales had announced on October 11 that a union agreement had already been reached, however, the USO and the Central United Workers (CUT) did not sign the deal.
The deal was signed by another union, UTEN, that according to the USO was established only to represent the minority of workers directly employed by the company.
President of the USO, Rodolfo Vecino, explained that Pacific Rubiales had told the USO they had to accept the deal made by UTEN, but he argued "it is clear that the role of UTEN in the conflict is paid to the interests of multinational Pacific Rubiales."
Vecino added that the USO has 5,000 subcontracted union members while UTEN "has no more than 700 members, and the worst thing is they belong to the administrative payroll and logistics departments."
Since they already have an agreement with UTEN, the Pacific Rubiales executives say they are not concerned about the matter and announced that there has been no production stoppage so far, according to Caracol Radio.