Tesoro union employees returning to work
25 Mar 2015, 3.15 pm GMT
Houston, 25 March (Argus) — Union employees at Tesoro were returning to work this week but the US independent refiner still had no timeline for restarting the only facility shut during the longest refining strike in decades.
United Steelworkers (USW) employees at Tesoro’s 120,000 b/d Anacortes, Washington, refinery, the 260,000 b/d Carson, California, refinery and 168,000 b/d Golden Eagle, Martinez, California unit ratified contracts this week as companies and the union work through the last steps of a four-year labor contract that triggered strikes on 1 February.
The work stoppage spread to 12 refineries representing 20pc of US refining capacity. National talks between USW and Shell, representing the refining industry, produced a framework on 12 March for a four-year agreement.
Only Tesoro’s Golden Eagle refinery, which was under maintenance when the strike began, reduced operations. The refiner operated the facility as a terminal rather than restart without union labor.
“We continue to make progress on our plans to restart our Martinez facility, but cannot currently speculate on when the restart might happen,” the company said today.
Workers at Shell’s 340,000 b/d joint venture Deer Park refinery and associated chemical plant would return to work next week, on pace with company plans to return all workers by the end of the month.
Talks continue at BP’s 410,000 b/d refinery in Whiting, Indiana, and 157,000 b/d joint venture refinery in Toledo, Ohio; at Marathon Petroleum’s 240,000 b/d refinery in Catlettsburg, Kentucky, and 475,000 b/d refinery in Texas City, Texas; and at LyondellBasell’s 268,000 b/d refinery in Houston, Texas.