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US refinery strike update

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

BP Husky

It was announced on 5 June 2015 that approximately 320 members of the USW Local 346 will be returning to work at the BP Husky oil refinery in Toledo after the union members approved a new four year contract with management. The vote brought to an end the labour dispute that began February 8 this year, when the Toledo workers joined thousands of other USW refinery workers nationwide who had initiated an unfair labour practice (ULP) strike against the oil industry on February 1. The ULP strike eventually included 15 refineries and chemical plants who were concerned about the industry’s failure to address health and safety issues.

David McCall, Director, USW District 1 said, “we look forward to putting this dispute behind us and moving forward with a contract that helps us guarantee safer workplaces for our members and safer communities for our neighbours and families. Our objective all along was to reach an agreement that was fair to both sides and that addressed serious concerns about safety in what can be an extremely dangerous industry. We believe that this contract accomplishes these goals.”

The USW had previously made an unconditional offer to return to work as bargaining continued. The Toledo refinery is a 50/50 joint venture between BP and Husky Energy.


Reuters has reported that negotiators for Marathon Petroleum Corp. and workers from the USW at the Galveston Bay refinery in Texas have reached a tentative agreement for a four year contract. The agreement was achieved yesterday and is possibly signalling the end of strike action at the facility. However, before the strike action comes to a complete end, USW Local 13-1 and Marathon need to complete a return to work agreement and members of the union will have to vote on the proposed contract.

Reuters has quoted Larry Burchfield, USW Local 13-1 Vice President as saying, “obviously, the union is optimistic about being able to negotiate a favourable return to work agreement to get our members back to work. We’re glad we were able to reach a safe and fair contract after this long strike.”

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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