2015 Strike USW 13-227
THIS WORK STOPPAGE IS ABOUT HEALTH AND SAFETY (FATIGUE, UNSAFE STAFFING LEVELS, & CONTRACTING OUT OF FULL-TIME MAINTENANCE JOBS), & HEALTHCARE (SKY HIGH HEALTH CARE OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS)
( Chemical Releases, carcinogens being allowed to leak to atmosphere, poor staffing, job consolidation that leads to people performing 2 and 3 jobs)
We want reasonable contract language that is enforceable and makes the oil companies accountable for these problems.
Workers are working onerous hours and are getting fatigued. When a person is fatigued, they make mistakes and this can be deadly in a refinery or petrochemical plant. On paper, the units look fully staffed, but in reality, the companies pull workers off for temporary jobs, like trainer and temporary supervisor, and this places a burden on the existing employees to work short-handed. As a result, they have to continue working overtime and get fatigued. Some of this temporary assignments last for a couple of years.
We would rather see full-time employees performing maintenance work than contractors because the contractors don’t receive as much health and safety training as the full-time employees who get training from the company and the international union’s health and safety training programs. In addition, contractors come and go and don’t understand the nuances (ins and outs) of these facilities like full-time employees who generally have been there for years. Also, full-time employees have more loyalty to the companies than the contractors because for them it is just another job.
We want to reduce the out-of-pocket health care expense limit for workers because many are spending thousands of dollars for health care and it is as if they don’t have health insurance.
We are working hard for a safe refinery because we know these facilities impact the communities around them whenever there is an explosion, leak, fire, emission or other type of process safety event. We want the communities to feel more and a healthier environment.
Any funds not used by the end of the strike will be "paid forward" to another union or group on strike.