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USW strike updates

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


The USW announced on 20 February that it was going to expand its unfair labour practice strike (ULP) by launching a work stoppage that night at midnight at the Motiva Enterprises refinery, Port Arthur, Texas, The refinery is a 50/50 joint venture between Shell Oil Company and Saudi Refining, Inc., and produces over 600 000 bpd. In addition, 24 hour strike notices were delivered at Motiva’s Louisiana refineries in Convent and Norco as well as at the Shell Chemical plant in Norco. Capacity at these facilities is 235 000 bpd and 238 000 bpd. These refineries are also jointly operated by Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Refining, Inc. of Saudi Arabia. Some 1350 USW members are employed at the three refineries and the chemical plant that together have a daily capacity of 1 073 260 bpd.

Leo W. Gerard, USW International President said, “this industry’s refusal to meaningfully address safety issues through good faith bargaining gave us no other option but to expand our work stoppage.”

Tom Conway, USW Vice President said, “we’re committed to reaching a settlement that works for both parties, but adequate staffing levels, worker fatigue and other important safety issues must be addressed.”

Gary Beevers, USW International Vice President commented, “our members are speaking loud and clear. If it takes a global fight to win safe workplaces, so be it.”

Whiting refinery

It was reported on that last week there was a rally of striking workers outside the BP owned Whiting facility. The USW workers were joined by Younger Next Generation members from several area unions. During the night time protest, workers were reported to have shouted ‘no contract, no sleep.’

Louisiana and Texas facilities

Comments have been reported from Lynne Hancock, USW spokeswoman, regarding the refinery strike at Shell and Motiva plants in Louisiana and Texas. Hancock reportedly commented, “members of our rank and file national oil bargaining committee have been answering questions about what to expect.”

Ray Fisher, spokesman for Shell is reported to have commented, “normal operations will not be impacted where new strikes have been announced. All sites are being operated by highly skilled and well trained replacement workers, as according to contingency plans.” Also, a formal statement from the company said the following upon USW’s further strike action, “we believe this move sets the wrong tone for both parties to move forward and reach an agreement. We remain committed to continued safe operations and productive negotiations.”

Sources: PR Newswire, NWI Times, Nola, Digital Journal.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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