There seems to be a lot of confusion over how the National Oil Bargaining process works.
What occurs at the National level of negotiations between the International Union and the lead Company (in this case Shell Oil) is the negotiations of the National Oil Policy which was adopted by the National Oil Conference in September of last year 2011. This Policy contains proposals that deal with economic issues and Health and Safety changes which the delegates approved. At the same time each local union across the country is engaged in local bargaining over local issues that you as members have brought forth to your respective Committees.
As the process progressed this time between the lead Company and the International Union the International Union with the vote of your Rank and File National Oil Policy Committee reached an agreement with the lead Company that in the opinion of the Policy Committee met the intent of the National Oil Policy of which every Rank and File member had an opportunity to vote on before bargaining began.
What has occurred up to this point now is that each Company that participates in the Oil Bargaining Program has placed on local tables what the Oil Policy Committee said meets the intent of the National Oil Policy. In some cases local bargaining is ongoing and for those groups they are working on a rolling 24 hour extension agreed to by the industry.
Vice President Beevers is now reviewing each proposal submitted to make sure nothing has changed from the original offer made by the lead company. As he does that he notifies each bargaining group of whether their proposal submitted by their company meets the pattern set by your Oil Policy Committee.
As each local union receives notice of approval of the National offer and providing that they are done with their own Local bargaining then ratification meetings are set up. It is at those meetings you as members will have the opportunity to examine, ask questions and vote on the package as a whole.
We have not released any details of the National part of the agreement yet because many locals are still in the process of negotiating their local issues and it is the position of the International Union that you as members should see the details first not the media, not the non members, and certainly those who have no vested interest in our business.
I hope this gives you some clarity in how this process will work in the coming days.
Lynne Hancock, USW Communications, email@example.com