Monday, March 4

Union workers at Chevron refinery prepare for strike on Monday

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The union representing workers at a Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, California, has told its members to prepare for a strike shortly after 12 am on Monday barring agreement on a new labor contract.

The United Steelworkers union at the 245,000 barrel-per-day plant outside of San Francisco said in a notice to members that it has canceled a contract extension, “offered the company a safe and orderly shutdown,” and was awaiting a reply from Chevron.

Chevron is committed to continuing to negotiate toward an agreement, a spokesperson said in a statement on Sunday.

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However, the San Ramon, California-based company “is prepared to continue normal operations safely and reliably to provide the energy products that are needed by consumers,” the spokesperson said.

Union officials were holding discussions on its next steps, a union official said. On Saturday, the union had advised machinists to go to the refinery and remove their personal tools before the contract extension expires. The United Steelworkers represents about 600 workers at the plant, the official said.

The refinery is a major supplier in the state of gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel. California has some of the highest gasoline prices in the nation with a gallon of unleaded regular selling for $5.847 on Sunday, according to motorist group AAA.

(Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by Will Dunham)