Petrobras workers plan indefinite strike

Cars line up to refuel at a Petrobras petrol station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 19, 2015 (AFP Photo/Vanderlei Almeida) (AFP/File)

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Petrobras workers have announced they will hold an open-ended strike in protest at investment cuts by the Brazilian state oil giant, hit by a huge corruption scandal.

The strike, due to begin Friday, is being held because the new Petrobras investment plan is "dismantling the company," the FUP oil workers union said on its website, linking it to thousands of layoffs of deep spending cuts.

The alleged Petrobras graft scheme skimmed billions of dollars from the state oil giant and sent the money to political parties, and people's private accounts.

Prosecutors estimate that $2.1 billion in bribes were paid as part of the scheme.

Hit by the scandal, the collapse of international oil prices and the sharp depreciation of the real against the dollar, the government is implementing a plan to divest almost $14 billion by 2016.

The government said in a statement that it had received the strike notice and planned to meet with union representatives on Thursday.