USW Reaches Tentative Agreement with Shell Oil Company to Set Contract Pattern for Oil Sector

Contact: Lynne Hancock, USW, (412) 562-2442, (c) 615-828-6169,

Pittsburgh -- The United Steelworkers (USW) announced today that a tentative agreement was reached with Shell Oil Company for a pattern settlement on wages, benefits and working conditions. Shell leads the negotiations and consulted with the rest of the industry during the talks.

The three-year pattern agreement affects more than 30,000 oil refinery, petrochemical plant, pipeline and terminal employees in 220 USW bargaining units.

“We reached a tentative agreement because of our members’ solidarity and the industry’s willingness to negotiate a contract that is fair to both parties,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.

The USW is not revealing the details of the proposed pattern agreement until members have a chance to examine it and vote. 

“We look forward to presenting the pattern settlement to our membership,” said USW International Vice President Tom Conway. “The Policy Committee unanimously endorsed the final proposal.”

The next step is for the national pattern to be placed on local unit bargaining tables. Once local issues are settled at each worksite, the bargaining unit’s tentative agreement is sent to Kim Nibarger, chair of the union’s National Oil Bargaining Program, for his review to ensure the national pattern is part of the bargaining unit’s contract. 

After Nibarger gives his approval the local contract is submitted to members for an explanation and a ratification vote. “We think this proposal reflects the desires of our members in the oil sector,” Nibarger said.

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


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