Work Stoppage begins tonight at Motiva’s Port Arthur, Texas facility; 24-hour strike notices delivered to three Louisiana facilities
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(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers (USW) announced today that it will expand its unfair labor practice strike (ULP) by launching a work stoppage tonight at midnight at the Motiva Enterprises refinery in Port Arthur, Texas.
This refinery, a 50-50 joint venture between Shell Oil Company (American subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell) and Saudi Refining, Inc. (subsidiary of Saudi Aramco), produces more than 600,000 barrels per day (BPD).
In addition, 24 hour strike notices were delivered at Motiva’s two Louisiana refineries in Convent and Norco as well as at the Shell Chemical plant in Norco. Capacity at these facilities is 235,000 and 238,000 (BPD). These refineries are also jointly operated by Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Refining, Inc. of Saudi Arabia.
“The industry’s refusal to meaningfully address safety issues through good faith bargaining gave us no other option but to expand our work stoppage,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.
Some 1,350 USW members are employed at the three refineries and the chemical plant that together have a daily capacity of 1,073,260 (BPD).
“We’re committed to reaching a settlement that works for both parties” said USW Vice President Tom Conway, “but adequate staffing levels, worker fatigue and other important safety issues must be addressed.”
“Our members are speaking loud and clear,” said Gary Beevers, USW International Vice President who oversees the union’s oil sector. “If it takes a global fight to win safe workplaces, so be it.”
The work stoppage began at midnight on Feb 1. Previously, 11 facilities and 5,200 workers went out on the ULP strike.
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, plus the service and public sectors. For more information: http://www.usw.org/.