Oil companies, unions reach agreement on US refinery workers pact

FILE PHOTO: An Oil and Gas Marathon banner covers an Andeavor sign outside the El Paso refinery in El Paso
FILE PHOTO: Petroleum Marathon banners outside an oil refinery in El Paso, Texas, U.S., October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Julio-Cesar Chavez

February 26, 2022

By Erwin Seba

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Oil and gas companies led by Marathon Petroleum and United Steelworkers (USW) agreed to sign new national contracts on Friday for 30,000 U.S. workers in refineries, chemical plants, and refineries. and pipelines, the company and the union said.

Once the deal is approved, workers will get a 12 per cent pay rise over a four-year period, three people familiar with the matter said.

Marathon spokesman Jamal Kheiry said: “We are delighted to have reached a model four-year employment agreement that both parties are satisfied with.

USW International President Thomas Conway said in a statement that membership plays an important role.

“The industry has made demands that can undermine the collective bargaining process for generations,” Conway said. “Thanks to the unity of our members and the hard work of our (national oil bargaining) committee, we have reached a fair deal.”

Neither side has disclosed the terms of the agreement.

Negotiations between Marathon and the Steelworkers had stalled until earlier this week when meetings resumed, the sources said.

Negotiations came to a halt on January 31 when USW negotiators rejected a three-year 9% increase and extended the current contract. communication. The existing contract will remain in effect until the new contract is ratified.

USW’s local unions will now combine the national agreement with site-specific agreements at each refinery, chemical plant, and pipeline, and bring the combined contracts into votes passed.

After negotiations stopped on January 31, USW staged a series of protests outside refineries across the US, which, according to sources, spurred other companies pressured Marathon to restart negotiations and increase the offer of pay and other issues. .

One issue long sought by USW is the agreement to send union health and safety representatives at each facility that is included in the new contract.

The pay rise has not been evenly distributed over four years, sources said.

(Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Leslie Adler, Jonathan Oatis, David Gregorio and Diane Craft) Oil companies, unions reach agreement on US refinery workers pact

Caroline Bleakley

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