Welcome to The Oil Strike Newsletter
Issue 1 Feb. 12, 2015
Click here to download a PDF of The Oil Strike Newletter to distribute on your picketlines or at your facility.
Today, more than 5,200 USW Oil Workers at 11 refineries in California, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Texas and Washington are on strike against the industry’s unfair labor practices. Our growing list of NLRB charges filed includes: bad-faith bargaining over the companies’ refusal to negotiate over mandatory subjects, impeded bargaining for the companies’ undue delays in providing information, threatening workers if they join the ULP strike and others.
All told, our union represents about 30,000 workers throughout the oil industry at 65 refineries and hundreds of pipelines, terminals, petrochemical plants and other facilities, and these negotiations will impact every one of us, our families and communities.
This labor dispute is the result of oil industry management refusing to accept input from our union on crucial issues for decades. We repeatedly sought to address many of the issues preventing a contract settlement with our employers in past negotiations.
Over the term of our preceding contracts, employers in the oil industry made billions, often while reporting record profits. In the meantime, the same companies have done little to improve working conditions.
- Our workplaces are always dangerous and often deadly, with high temperatures, high pressure, toxic chemicals and gasses, yet many of our locations are critically understaffed.
- Instead of scheduling more workers fewer hours, the industry demands excessive compulsory overtime that leaves individuals fatigued and more prone to accidents.
- Management further insists on expanding its unhealthy reliance on temporary contract workers rather than hiring and/or training USW-represented permanent employees to perform maintenance in our facilities on the equipment we use every day.
We are also negotiating wages, benefits and other economic issues as has been reported, but it will be impossible to reach a fair contract settlement until management changes its attitude and these companies show respect for the union workers who have made them and their shareholders very wealthy.
We will use this newsletter in addition to our current systems to keep all of our USW Oil Workers up to date on our negotiations, our campaign to win fair contracts and provide important information about solidarity actions to support our brothers and sisters on picket lines throughout the industry.