ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Politics and Social Issues»
  • Environment & Green Issues»
  • Disasters & Recovery

USW Oil Workers Strike

Updated on February 8, 2015

USW Endangers Thousands Update Feb.6

The United Steele Workers union, is at it hard, turning down yet another offer from Shell. This does not stop here. They have also stated plans for a national day of action. Fighting for safer jobs and fair union contracts. They will be holding a strike at all USW Union affiliations across America. The plan is for Feb 7. To hold rallies, at all 65 refineries and plants. They don't plan to stop there either. It goes further having union members at approximately 200 facilities, will also join the rallies.

List of included facilities:
>refineries
>oil terminals
>pipelines
>and petrochemical plants

According to, USW Int. President Leo W. Gerard, this national day strike should reassure, all higher management within the biggest companies, they are not playing. They demand respect at the bargining table.

USW hasn't stated what the offer was, just that it is not enough. The offers up to six now. They are demanding things that will affect every field including industries, union, non-union, and public.


The demands include safety and health. Both being terms USW plan to break. The strikes will leave the refineries and other fields, understaffed on Saturday. The USW isn't thinking about their coworkers and communities.

The dangers workers and local communities, will be facing, plants that have potential to harming thousands will be understaffed. Some of the operations at these refineries, call for staff presence at all times. The mass shortage on Saturday, these plants will be forced to call in all those as USW say unqualified non-union workers. Even though they call everyone in they possibly still may be way understaffed. Shutting down is not an option for some industries. The chemicals being processed in many refineries, if left unattended, can ignite or leak causing fatalities in numbers. Endangering workers and communities, the USW claim to be fighting so hard to protect.

It seems USW are not looking at their strike as a threat. USW cares about the USW Union members and getting respect at the bargaining table. The order for the national day strike and rallies, was not given until after, both the USW leaders and the Industries leaders, agreed to commence the bargining next week.

The definition of a bargain, per the webster dictionary, is to negotiate over the terms of a purchase, agreement, or contract; to bring to a desired level by bargaining. It usually works by meeting somewhere in the middle.

What we do know, is that USW are going on their 7th offer. Making it apparent, USW will agree to; all or nothing.

To all of the workers and families, that are not United Steele Workers Members, please be careful. In the past, people have been injured/killed at these events. To the communities and public, try to steer clear, of the rally and picketting destinations. Stay tuned to your local news and radio, for any potential harm to your families.

To the United Steel Workers Union Members, please be very careful and leave your kids in proper care. These events are crowded and very dangerous, no place for small children.

AMERICA, AMERICA, HOME OF THE BRAVE! LAND OF THE FREE!
Freedom to hire who we see fit for the job. Not be forced to hire, only USW union members. Not to force non-union workers or other unions, to join USW, just to have a job.

United Steele Workers strike at 9 US refineries

Union Workers Speak

USW Negotiation Terms

While the negotiations continue for the 2015 Union strike against oil and gas industries, they have shut down a 5th counter offer at the table. With the recent expiration date of their three-year contracts they have moved for a strike, a complete work stoppage among 9 refinery plants across America. They are affiliated with a total of 65 out of 230 refineries pipelines oil terminals and petrochemical plants in the United States. They have stated that should terms not be reached soon there will be a further order for work stoppage within the remaining 51 plants. There are now 3,800 employees on strike, and a mere 30,000 United Steel Workers union members in US that are hourly employees. The negotiations began on Jan. 21, 2015, the contracts ended on Feb. 1, 2015. Sunday night was the first work stoppage.

The terms for this strike include the following:

  • Wage increase of 6% annually
  • Knowledge and better fatigue policy
  • Overtime reduction
  • The past projects going to contractors non-union workers in the future to only go to union workers
  • Lower the healthcare expenses that are out-of-pocket to employee
  • The other daily disasters like fire, explosion, leaks, and erosion that endanger the communities surrounding
  • The erosion of the workplace by non-union workers taking positions of union workers who have retired or left.

Accordining to USW International Vice President Gary Beevers, who heads the union’s National Oil Bargaining Program statements below are the strike terms. Which I found at http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2015/national-oil-bargaining-talks-break-down-usw-calls-for-work-stoppage-at-nine-oil-refineries-plants

“This work stoppage is about onerous overtime; unsafe staffing levels; dangerous conditions the industry continues to ignore; the daily occurrences of fires, emissions, leaks and explosions that threaten local communities without the industry doing much about it; the industry’s refusal to make opportunities for workers in the trade crafts; the flagrant contracting out that impacts health and safety on the job; and the erosion of our workplace, where qualified and experienced union workers are replaced by contractors when they leave or retire."

What are your thoughts?

Does this strike affect your family?

See results

USW is deliberating Newest OfferUSW is deliberating Newest Offer

Shell Deer Park has made a new offer to the USW. Late last night the sixth offer was presented to the United Steele Workers, as their picketers reach the dusk of their fourth day on strike. The USW will deliberate this offer, having a reply some time, Thursday. Now we wait to see what reply they give.

There are so many affected by the strike including:
•Union workers
•Non Union Workers
•General public
•Industries.

Union workers do not have a choice against the ordered strike by their union. They could stay at post or hire into non-union position, however, they may then be subjected to fines and/or a lawsuit. Many Unions will not allow for union member to accept a non-union job, even when they are involved in strike. The Union workers are scaled down to a small percentage of their pay. However, even with the pay reduction, members who are on strike duties, must appear and take part in all picketing. Union workers do have families, lifestyles and bills they became habituated into. This can cause missed payments on necessities and a strain on any family.

Non-Union workers are being segregated and disgraced, with statements made by the Vice President of the USW. There are many non-union workers who are equally qualified and experienced in their professions compared to the union workers. The claims being made about non-union contractors eroding union workplace, is not a valid statement. Claims of non-union workers being unsafe or unqualified for a profession is discriminatory. Each industry require the same, safety classes and procedures, for Non-Union and Union workers.

Should any Non-Union worker pursue a union membership; agreeing to union policies and rules, as well as pay the union dues; then they easily become qualified and experienced safe workers. That is very subjective. That is also bias at union discretion. You wont become a qualified brain surgeon, by becoming a union member. It takes a degree and many hours to achieve that profession. Non-union member put in many hours to schooling, certifications,safety,and experience the same as many union members.

The contracted jobs, in which USW wants industries to hire in, only USW members, is not only knocking non-union workers out, but union workers from other unions as well (not of the United Steele Workers Union membership). Non-union and Non-USW union workers will be unable to get those positions in the future. Which can amount up to thousands of positions across the many professions of the industries. Should this particular term be approved, the only way to get those jobs, would be to pay United Steele Workers Union Dues, become a member.

The public is at risk to rises in fuel prices. That is another reduction to lifestyles, family, and bills. After being placed in harms way, when the USW began the strike, walking out mid-shift, leaving the industries in a drastic shortage of staff. The strike caused a time span of staff shortage, from the work stoppage, until other qualified personnel arrive.

So all included, USW is asking to affect everyone across the board. The wage increase will affect many margins and price raises across the nation. Secluding thousands of jobs to United Steele workers Union members only. While portraying that merely being a union member qualifies them, more than non-union worker who may obtain a doctorates degree in a profession, including more hours in training and experience. They are also make statements leading to believe the union title makes them safer than a surgeon. What about the other unions out there, did you realize the fact you were not included in this fight.

ONE IS NO BETTER THAN THE OTHER A UNION TITLE IS JUST A MEMBER OF A CLUB THAT BENEFITS YOU TO YOUR LIKING. WHILE NON-UNION WORKERS PREFER TO CHOOSE A LITTLE MORE FREEDOM. WE ARE ALL A TEAM IN THIS LEADING INDUSTRY. HERE TO KEEP THE SUPPLY AND DEMAND EVEN.


The industries have hired(who?)to fill in for all the USW members who are on strike? Yes, you guessed right. Those non-union workers you are claiming unqualified and un experienced. Those workers among other unions, that are not a part of USW strike, has managed to run those positions quite well. Allowing these industries to meet supply and demands. In doing this strike at supply lows, the companies are spending extra, to borrow non-union workers, for daily operations in which the USW members have walked out of. Forcing these plants to have no choice other than to delay refractory, construction, and routine annual rebuilds, and mandatory quality testing. This is a hazard, to lifes of workers, fathers, sons, daughters, mothers, not to mention that local or surrounding community, filled with kids, babies, and elderly. So while the strike is going on, these companies are the ones, with all these factors, in which they find a way to cover, without USW.

The very terms USW Union ask, they violated. The work shortage caused (due to work stoppage in mid shift) endangerment to, hundreds of thousands of coworkers, friends, families, and communities. "Lead by Example," a quote from unknown sorces. As a group, that seems to be thinking of, only USW members, and not those that can be affected. While a strike may have been necessary, it could have been handled differently. On that note, slurring should not come from your leaders, maybe they should have held grounds with no comment. Another famous quote from unknown sorces, "If you cannot say anything nice, don't say anything at all!"

One more example of how we should not be treating one another of lesser quality:
A plant is on fire. There are two persons trapped under, a rail each. Four persons nearby that can all together lift the rails. to save the trapped persons who are one union and the other non-union. The four persons are devided equal as well 2 union 2 non-union. By staying to help there coworkers who have a fighting chance with team work, they risk there own safety. Do you think in this moment these six people care who is who? / or do you think in that moment they are all a brother/sisterhood of the industry, who are gonna do what it takes to save the trapped persons? All of these persons mean something a (father/husband, son/daughter, mother/wife, aunt/uncle, or a grandparent) to someone else?

This being expressed I do want to wish you all well and positive out comes equally: Union/Non-Union/Public/Industries/Communities/USW union members as well.

Chart the Viewers

Which group are you affiliated with?

See results

Rate the Author Patricia Neal

Cast your vote for Author of this page.

How Does the Strike Affect You?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working