Tag Archives: usw

Oil Worker Strike Expands

Oil workers at three more refineries and a chemical plant joined the United Steelworkers (USW) strike that began in February with around 3,800 members from nine refineries. According to the AFL-CIO’s Mike Hall, the total number of striking workers is now 6,550.

The union is bargaining for new labor agreements to cover some 30,000 workers throughout the oil industry at 65 refineries and hundreds of pipelines, terminals, petrochemical plants, and other facilities. Adequate staffing, worker fatigue, and safety are major concerns, explains USW Vice President Thomas Conway.

A February explosion, which injured four workers at an ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance, California, reinforced the issue of refinery safety. Support safe refineries and safe refinery communities by signing the poll at: http://www.usw.org/act/oilsafety

United Steelworkers

United Steelworkers Strike

United SteelworkersIn February, around 3,800 members of the United Steelworkers (USW) went on strike at nine refineries after Shell, lead company in the National Oil Bargaining talks, left the bargaining table, reports USW President Leo W. Gerard. Remaining USW-represented refineries (65 in total) and facilities are operating under a rolling 24-hour contract extension. The strike, limited to a fraction of the 30,000 oil workers the union organizes, draws attention to decades of stagnant wages, rising health care and living costs, and corporate disregard for health and safety.

USW Vice President Gary Beevers, who heads the union’s National Oil Bargaining program, says onerous overtime; unsafe staffing; and dangerous conditions, among other concerns, as the impetus for the work stoppage.

The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), representing 90 million workers in 126 countries has expressed its internationalist solidarity to the striking workers in US refineries.