USW Oil Workers to Rally Nation Wide for Fair Contracts, Safe Jobs

Contact: Lynne Hancock – (615) 828-6169;
                Tony Montana – (412) 562-2592;

PITTSBURGH – The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the union will sponsor a National Day of Action for fair contracts and safe jobs throughout the oil industry on Saturday, Feb. 7, with plant gate rallies scheduled at 65 refineries and union members at almost 200 other facilities across the country, including terminals, pipelines and petrochemical plants, also planning to participate in solidarity actions.

USW International President Leo W. Gerard said that Saturday’s National Day of Action should demonstrate to top management at the country’s biggest oil companies that union members are united in the fight for respect at the bargaining table and dignity in their workplaces.

“Corporate greed and management’s stubborn refusal to accept input from our union on issues like training, staffing levels and fatigue from excessive overtime have resulted in a fatality rate for workers in the oil industry that is much higher than the national average,” Gerard said. “We simply cannot trust management at these companies to prioritize workers’ health and safety ahead of profits.”

On Feb. 1, union members began a strike at nine U.S. refineries and chemical plants in California, Kentucky, Texas and Washington after their previous contract expired and industry negotiators failed to address serious concerns raised by the USW regarding the health and safety of workers and their communities.

The union has filed unfair labor practice charges against several of the struck employers. Additional unfair labor practice charges will be filed by the union next week.

USW members account for about 64 percent of the country’s oil refining capacity, and more locations could soon join the strike if necessary.

The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.

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Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222