Thursday, February 5, 2009

National strike averted as Shell, union workers agree to settlement

HOUSTON - About 30,000 unionized workers at U.S. refineries, chemical plants and pipelines reached a deal with industry on a new basic contract on Feb. 3, averting a nationwide strike.
The United Steelworkers Union and Shell Oil Co. - representing U.S. refiners - agreed to a terms of a basic contract that sets minimum wages, benefits and working conditions at 86 energy facilities.
The current contract was temporarily extended past its Feb. 1 expiration so negotiations could continue. The union represents workers at 64 percent of U.S. refineries.
U.S. gasoline futures rose last week on fears that a strike could shutter refineries and tighten up fuel supplies, which are currently plentiful amid weak profit margins for refiners.
Hourly workers represented by the Steelworkers will get a three percent per year pay increase for each of the three years of the contract and pay 20 percent of their healthcare costs, according to sources familiar with the agreement.
The average national wage for U.S. refinery workers is $30.06 an hour.
While a nationwide strike has been averted, local negotiations still might lead to work stoppages at individual plants as workers and managers finish talks over site-specific contracts during the next several weeks.
"The current contracts remain in force until the respective local unions conclude bargaining and ratify their new contracts," said Stan Mays, a spokesman for Shell, which led the talks on behalf of U.S. refiners.

No comments:

Post a Comment