2/9/15 – 5:07 A.M.
The first nationwide oil strike in 35 years is affecting Marathon refineries and has spread to other refineries in our region. The Courier reports workers in 11 refineries are participating in the strike, which began last week. Workers at Marathon facilities in Texas City, Texas and Catlettsburg, Kentucky walked off the job when the strike began.
Over the weekend workers left their posts at the BP refinery in Toledo, as well as a BP refinery in Indiana. A BP spokesperson said the company will continue to operate with replacement workers.
The United Steelworkers represents around 30,000 refinery workers in the nation. The strike started on February 1 after negotiations with the Shell Oil Company broke down. Shell is serving as the lead company for the negotiations. Any agreement made by Shell would then be used as a template for other companies.
The USW says workers are looking for safety improvements, better health care benefits, and limits on the use of contractors to replace union members in maintenance jobs. Wages have not been mentioned as an issue.
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