US refinery unions ratify objectives for 2012 national contract

18 November 2011 23:41  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Refinery union members voted in favour of the bargaining policy and contract proposal that will be presented to the industry in early 2012, the worker group said on Friday.

Refinery union members are part of the United Steelworkers (USW). The refiners’ current union contract with the industry was agreed upon in 2009 and expires on 1 February 2012.

The policy focuses on health and safety, wage, benefit and contract language issues.

The USW said process safety was the focus of the National Oil Bargaining for 2011-2012. This covers engineering and management controls to prevent catastrophic events involving hazardous materials, such as explosions, fires and toxic releases, the group said.

Reports provided by refiners in Louisiana detailed 354 accidents in 2010 at the state’s plants.

“The oil industry has an accident problem in this state,” said Anne Rolfes, founding director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade.

The USW said the group is aware of 138 fires between 1 February 2010 and 10 November 2011 at US refineries.

USW International vice president Gary Beevers said, “The oil industry can’t continue down this path. Our proposal addresses safety and health issues and offers solutions to this continuing problem.”

Individual local unions at refineries set their own agendas for negotiating problems that vary based on locations, management, hours and other factors.

The USW represents 30,000 workers at 168 production, refining, marketing, transportation, pipeline and petrochemical facilities nationwide, including 69 refineries making up about 64% of the US refining capacity, said the USW.

By: Sheena Martin
+1 713 525 2653

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