Thursday, December 8

Oil companies, union reach deal on US refinery workers pact -sources

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HOUSTON — Oil companies led by Marathon Petroleum and the United Steelworkers union (USW) agreed to a new national contract on Friday for 30,000 US workers in refineries, chemical plants, and pipelines, said sources familiar with the agreement.

Once the deal is ratified, workers will receive a 12% pay increase over its four-year term, the sources said.

“We’re pleased to have reached a mutually satisfactory four-year pattern labor agreement with the United Steelworkers,” Marathon spokesman Jamal Kheiry said.

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A USW spokesperson was not immediately available on Friday afternoon.

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

Talks stopped on Jan. 31 when USW negotiators rejected a 9% increase over three years and extended the current contract. basis. The current contract will remain in effect until the new contract is ratified.

USW local unions will now combine the national agreement with agreements on site-specific issues at each refinery, chemical plant and pipeline and put the combined contracts to ratification votes.

After talks stopped on Jan. 31, the USW carried out a series of protests outside refineries across the United States, which, the sources said, pushed other companies to pressure Marathon in restarting talks and increasing the pay offer as well as moving on other issues .

One issue long sought by the USW is agreement to appoint union health and safety representatives at each facility which is ‘fincluded in the new contract.

The pay increases are not evenly split between the four years, the sources said. (Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Leslie Adler, Jonathan Oatis and David Gregorio)