National Oil Bargaining History

The National Oil Bargaining Program (NOBP) was founded in 1965 by the Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers (OCAW) as a way for oil workers to stand together and form a mandatory oil policy which provided the ability to set industry-wide standards.

Historical Mural from OCAW’s Denver Headquarters

Health and Safety

The OCAW was a key player in the efforts to pass the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) in 1970. This crusade on health and safety issues inspired members to be more knowledable about hazards at work, and to confront management about improving industrial health and fixing dangerous conditions.

In 1973, bargaining provided major changes to health and safety introducing joint labor-management committees. However, Shell Oil refused to negotiate health and safety language as part of the 1973 NOBP agreement. That lead to a four-month strike of 4,000 members. In what many consider the first "corporate campaign," support from unions and the environmental community forced Shell Oil to submit.

In 1987, the OCAW recieved a multimillion dollar grant to develop a model of health and safety training for workers. The Triangle of Prevention (TOP) Safety program was created as a result. In 2012, the NOBP agreement secured union-selected process safety reps.

National Strikes

Workplace Tragedies