Union leaders at Petroleos Mexicanos, the state oil monopoly, agreed to delay a general strike for two months, saying a settlement over wage negotiations would likely come before then.
Union spokesman Victor Manuel Garcia said the union agreed early this morning to a company request to extend a negotiating deadline to 60 days from 30 days before more than 90,000 unionized members stop work at Mexico's oil and gas fields and refineries.
``We won't reach the end of the negotiating period without an accord,'' Garcia said in a phone interview. ``There's good will on both sides to keep talking.''
A general work stoppage at Pemex would deplete the country's inventories of crude oil and natural gas within days, crippling daily exports of 1.66 million barrels of crude and possibly causing blackouts as gas-powered plants run out of fuel to produce electricity, analysts said.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969