United States striking oil workers in London, England

This video says about itself:

US largest oil strike since 1980s: 10% refining capacity frozen

3 February 2015

Workers of 9 US refineries on strike, demanding better work conditions.

By Conrad Landin in Britain:

Bosses’ big dinner ruined by oil strike

Saturday 14th February 2015

STRIKING American oil workers confronted “aloof” industry fat cats at an exclusive London dinner on Thursday — where the man who could resolve their dispute was the star speaker.

Staff at nine refineries from California to Kentucky, operated by different firms, walked out on February 1 after industry negotiators refused to incorporate key safety clauses into their next three-year agreement with unions.

The United Steelworkers union (USW)-led strikers were joined by workers from Indiana and Ohio refineries on February 9.

In an exclusive interview with the Morning Star, USW activists visiting London this week said up to 30,000 workers at 63 plants could be affected if the union is forced to escalate strike action.

Machinist Steve Garey said safety breaches involving “hazardous processes and chemicals” were “killing our members.”

Reps met with officers from general union Unite before protesting outside the International Petroleum week dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane — where industry bigwigs were paying a minimum of £300 a head for a four-course feast.

And in a keynote address, Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden, whose firm is leading negotiations on behalf of refinery bosses, called on the industry to be “less aloof, more assertive.”

“So, to make our voice heard, our sector needs to enter into the public debate alongside other credible parties — ranging from academics to non-governmental organisations and policymakers,” he told diners.

But placard-wielding refinery operators told the Star that Shell and other industry giants had become “arrogant and dismissive” of workers’ safety concerns in recent negotiations.

Brandi Sanders, a maintenance worker for Marathon in Texas City, called for Shell to “lead for the industry” and break the negotiations stalemate.

And Mr Garey added: “If Shell won’t then perhaps someone else can.”

The strike by more than 5,000 oil workers in the US has entered its second week. Behind-the-scenes negotiations between the United Steelworkers and the lead industry bargainer, Royal Dutch Shell, have been put off by the company until February 18, following an offer by the USW on Wednesday: here.

The current strike of US oil refinery workers raises many of the same issues that arose in the 1980 national strike. Once again, workers face attacks on wages, safety, pensions and health benefits: here.

2 thoughts on “United States striking oil workers in London, England

  1. Pingback: Texas oil workers on strike for safety | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: United States oil worker interviewed on safety | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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