USW Oil Workers Approve National Oil Bargaining Program Policy

CONTACT: Lynne Hancock, 615-828-6169,

More than 375 United Steelworkers (USW) delegates attending the National Oil Bargaining Program (NOBP) conference approved policy for the 2019 national pattern agreement.

The NOBP oil policy contains the proposals that will be presented during bargaining with the oil industry. Shell Oil Co. will be the lead company in national talks.

Delegates met in 17 company councils this week to devise national proposals addressing wages, benefits and working conditions that affect workers across the oil industry.

The NOBP Oil Policy Committee, which consists of five elected rank-and-file members and five alternates, thoroughly vetted each proposal and created a policy for the delegates to review and discuss this morning. Delegates suggested changes and the oil policy committee reconvened to adjust the policy.

Now the NOBP Policy goes to oil locals and units for approval. They have 45 days to present the NOBP Policy at a membership meeting, answer questions and conduct a vote on it.

The NOBP Policy must be approved by 75 percent of the oil locals and units.

Bargaining is conducted at a national table for a pattern agreement, and negotiations begin in mid-January. Oil local unions and units will also be negotiating local contracts in January. Local contracts contain issues such as bidding rights and seniority.

The National Oil Bargaining pattern agreement and local contracts expire Feb. 1 at 12:01 a.m.

The USW represents more than 30,000 oil workers at approximately 220 refineries, oil terminals, pipelines, transportation and petrochemical facilities in the United States. USW-represented oil workers produce about 64 percent of gasoline and other oil products in the United States.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. 

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