·  by Lynne Baker   ·  USW

USW Statement on BP Settlement to Resolve OSHA Citations

Beaumont, Texas—United Steelworkers Union (USW) International Vice President Gary Beevers issued the following statement today regarding the settlement agreement between BP Products North America Inc. and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):

“We are very confident that BP will live up to this agreement to resolve its failure to abate previously cited hazardous conditions at its Texas City refinery. This agreement also sets up a framework for oversight of BP’s corrective actions to make the workplace safer.

“Our members at the Texas City refinery have a lot at stake here. They want to keep their jobs and they want a safe environment to work in so they can come home at the end of a shift to their families. The members will be watching BP’s every move to make sure that the settlement agreement is met and that BP fulfills its obligations. The local union will be participating in conference calls and meetings regarding BP’s efforts to take corrective action.

“I want to complement Steve Cornell, head of BP’s U.S. refining business, for recognizing our union’s role in helping the company improve its safety performance. We have worked closely with BP since 2005 and have seen the company consistently spend money to rebuild equipment and restructure its safety program. It’s now up to BP to do what it promises.

“I also want to commend OSHA for following up with an investigation of the Texas City facility in 2009 and for setting in place a structure that will allow more transparency of BP’s abatement efforts. The OSHA we’re dealing with today is not the OSHA of the past eight years. We finally have an agency that is willing to be aggressive about worker safety.”

The USW is the largest industrial union in North America and has 850,000 members in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. It represents workers employed in metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, atomic energy and the service sector.

Contact: Gary Beevers, USW Intl. Vice President, o) 409-838-1972
             Lynne Baker, USW Communications, o) 615-831-6782, c) 615-828-6169

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