• 1 day PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 2 days Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 2 days Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 2 days Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 2 days Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 2 days Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 2 days Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 2 days New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 2 days Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 2 days Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 2 days Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 2 days British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 3 days Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 3 days Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 3 days Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 3 days OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 3 days London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 3 days Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 3 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 3 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 3 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 4 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 4 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 4 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 4 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 5 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 5 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 5 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 5 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 5 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 5 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 5 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 5 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 5 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 6 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 6 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 6 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 6 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 6 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 6 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO

Strikes The Latest Threat Facing US Oil Industry

Strikes The Latest Threat Facing US Oil Industry

Workers are on strike at nine oil refineries and chemical plants around the United States in the largest such job action in 35 years.

Members of the United Steelworkers union (USW) who are employed by more than 200 US oil terminals and pipelines as well as refineries and chemical plants struck the nine facilities on Feb. 1 after negotiations with several oil companies failed to end in an agreement on wages, safety and benefits. The contract covers 30,000 hourly workers.

The negotiations had begun Jan. 21 with a settlement deadline at midnight, Jan. 31. The USW had rejected five offers by the companies lead negotiator, Royal Dutch Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant representing several large oil companies operating in the United States, including Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. Related: Chevron Responds To Eight Week Drop In Rig Count By Slashing Jobs

“Shell refused to provide us with a counter-offer and left the bargaining table,” USW International President Leo Gerard said. “We had no choice but to give notice of a work stoppage.”

From Shell headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, company spokesman Ray Fisher said Shell was eager to resume negotiations. “We remain committed to resolving our differences with USW at the negotiating table and hope to resume negotiations as early as possible,” he said.

Although picket lines were set up at nine of the companies’ facilities, only one has restricted production. But a walkout affecting all 200-plus facilities would stall up to 64 percent of American fuel production.

The USW issued a statement saying the refineries directly affected by the strike have optimum production levels of 1.82 million barrels of fuel per day. They include Tesoro Corp.’s plants in California and Washington state, Marathon Petroleum’s facilities in Kentucky and Texas, and complexes owned by Shell and LyondellBassell Industries in Texas. Related: Future Of $14 Billion GTL Plant In Louisiana Uncertain

The last time the union had called a strike was in 1980, a three-month work stoppage in which the companies used salaried workers to do the jobs of striking USW members. This one comes as oil companies around the world already are reeling because of the steep plunge in the price of oil, which has lost nearly 60 percent of its value since June 2014.

Despite Shell’s stated eagerness to resolve the outstanding issues, the company turned to a strike contingency plan at its huge refinery and chemical plant in Deer Park, Texas, to keep it productive. Other companies were doing likewise, including Tesoro, which said managers were operating its refinery in Carson, Calif., and planned similar substitutions at its other affected facilities.

The USW said all other refineries where its members work would continue operating under rolling 24-hour contract extensions, just as in 1980. These facilities including Exxon Mobil’s refinery in Beaumont, Texas.

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • Johnny A. Franco Arboine on February 02 2015 said:
    I strong the oil workers. It takes a great of perserverance to last in the oil industry. Oil workers are always good for every economy. Oil workers keep the economy going.
  • Roman on February 03 2015 said:
    Talk about being out of touch with todays circumstances. Oil prices have dropped, oil companies are reporting lower profits and now the union is striking for higher wages and benefits. What a bunch of idiots!!!!

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News