The Oilworker: May, 2020


A message from the NOBP Chair

Brothers and Sisters,

It has been two months since our National Oil Bargaining Conference, and I know it seems like years ago.  I hope all of you are well as we continue to navigate this unprecedented time.  As we all know, this pandemic is proving to our employers that our members in the oil sector are essential.  The majority of our members are required to go into the plants every day to keep them running.

Unfortunately, we have encountered unnecessary fights with some of our employers when it comes to health and safety.  While we worked with most of them to fix some of these issues and concerns, we must also continue to fight to ensure that the health and safety of our members are the number one priority as our workplaces continue to operate. Here are the latest guidelines, resources and documents from the union to help you as together we work to keep everyone safe.  Watch out for each other, and please let us know what we can do to help you resolve any issues that arise.

This is an unprecedented time in our society, and the oil industry is also in uncharted territory.  Along with the impact from Covid-19, the oil price war has created a perfect storm for the industry.  As the country’s economy slowed and U.S. gasoline consumption fell to its lowest levels in more than 50 years, this crisis created a huge glut of oil.  The extraordinary uncertainty in the market, including the cost of oil dropping below $0 for a few days in April, added even more pressure to a tenuous situation. Most of our plants reduced feed over the past few months, and one refinery is idled due to the impacts.

While we work through these tough times, and we see our employers’ quarterly earnings reports, it is also important to remember that the oil industry has benefited from decades of record profits, even as we have weathered past economic crises. 

As we always do, we’ll work through this together. The resiliency and dedication of our members and our union will ensure that we not only survive this hardship, but come out of it stronger.

In solidarity,

Mike Smith
NOBP Chair

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