Union files labour complaint against US Marathon Petroleum

16 May 2012 21:25  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A union representing oil workers filed a complaint against US refiner Marathon Petroleum, alleging that the company has illegally declared a deadlock on issues of labour, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

“Declaring impasses means that after exhaustive good faith negotiations, both sides are deadlocked and neither side is willing to make any more meaningful movement toward the other side on the important issues,” said United Steelworkers (USW) union spokeswoman Lynne Hancock.

The union filed its unfair labour practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that Marathon Catlettsburg refinery in Kentucky illegally declared impasse, said Hancock.

Marathon Petroleum rejected the union’s request to continue bargaining, said USW Local President Bret Queen.

“The company should not have declared impasse and implemented its proposal,” said Hancock. “The union says impasse was not reached and that there were numerous issues on both sides that needed to be bargained over.”

Disputes on the local contract involve work schedules, vacation allotments and re-alignments of departments that result in job duty and schedule change, the union said.

Operations at 212,000 bbl/day refinery have not been effected by the contentions between the company operators and union workers, Hancock said.

The local contract deadline was 31 January, however the contract is still in negotiations, she said.

“The local union did vote to give union leaders permission to call a strike, but [the union] is not focused on that now,” said Hancock.

In a statement, Marathon said it provided its last best offer to the union employees at its Catlettsburg refinery. 

Regarding the workforce, the refinery is in the process of hiring 32 new operators to replace those the company expects will leave because of attrition.

The company had no other comments.

By: Sheena Martin
+1 713 525 2653

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