Tesoro refinery workers reject USW labor contract, strike possible


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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