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Tesoro refinery workers reject USW labor contract, strike possible

02.22.2012  | 

Union workers at three more Tesoro refineries have rejected new labor contracts, setting up the potential for a strike. A general strike at Tesoro's refineries still negotiating could shut down 500,000 bpd of refining capacity, though it wouldn't spread to refineries run by other companies.

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By BEN LEFEBVRE

Union workers at three more Tesoro refineries have rejected new labor contracts, setting up the potential for a strike.

A general strike at Tesoro's refineries still negotiating contracts could shut down a combined 500,000 bpd of refining capacity.

United Steelworker (USW) locals at Tesoro's refineries in Anacortes, Wash., Martinez, Calif., and Kapolei, Hawaii, voted against the tentative three-year contract agreed upon on Jan. 31 by the union's national representatives and Royal Dutch Shell's US arm Shell Oil.

Workers at Tesoro's Mandan, N.D., refinery are in negotiations after having rejected the contract earlier in the month, while those at the company's Salt Lake City, Utah, facility haven't voted on the contract, said USW spokeswoman Lynne Hancock. 

A strike at Tesoro's refineries wouldn't spread to those run by other companies, she added.

"The three sites that have turned down the company's offer have each requested further discussions," Tesoro spokeswoman Tina Barbee said.

At the Tesoro 120,000 bpd Anacortes refinery, where an April 2010 explosion killed seven people, 98% of voting USW members rejected the contract, according to the local union's website.

At dispute was Tesoro's plan to leave employee benefits open to change without bargaining during the next three years, according to the website.

Union members at the Anacortes refinery have threatened a strike, but so far there has been no concrete action toward a work stoppage, Hancock said.

The union local at Marathon Petroleum’s refinery in Catlettsburg, Ky., rejected the tentative contract last week.

The union and Marathon management continue negotiations, Hancock said.


Dow Jones Newswires

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Working Stiff
03.06.2012

Union employees... Always looking for handouts like the democrat puppets they are... This isn't the 1930's, get to work. The whole state is in financial ruins and you're just adding fuel to the fire by looking to jack up fuel prices for the rest of us. You want to do something useful, picket Sacramento.

USW
03.01.2012

Greg Goff, Tesoro CEO, isn't even bargaining. The company presented a ridiculous offer which was rejected with more than 95%union support. What the SHAREHOLDERS dont realize is that these refineries MUST SHUT DOWN! That non-union "scabs" will not be allowed to run the process units due to lack of experience and safety concerns. This is an OSHA rule. The union workers only want a fair health plan &benefits comparable to other refineries. After all, it is an inherently unhealthy industry that these people work in to feed their families.

Ron Zylla
02.23.2012

Oh my. Chevron, Shell, etc stand to make a whole money on this if they go on strike.

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