Day 2: Oil Workers Continue Strike; Refinery Shuts

Posted February 3, 2015 at 5:00am

Bloomberg reports that “one U.S. refinery is shutting while management takes control of operations at six others after union workers walked out of the plants in the biggest strike since 1980.”  

“The United Steelworkers union that represents employees at more than 200 refineries, terminals, pipelines and chemical plants stopped work Sunday at nine sites, accounting for 10 percent of the country’s refining capacity, after contract negotiations fell apart. The union rejected five offers made by Royal Dutch Shell Plc on behalf of companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. since talks began Jan. 21. Tesoro Corp. is shutting half of its 166,000-barrel-a-day Martinez plant in California that wasn’t already idled for maintenance.”  

“Union leaders haven’t called a strike nationally since 1980, when a stoppage lasted three months. While only one of the nine plants has curbed production amid the stoppage, a full walkout of USW workers would threaten to disrupt as much as 64 percent of U.S. fuel output. Shell and union officials began negotiations amid the biggest collapse in oil prices since 2008.”