The union workers at Tesoro's Golden Eagle Refinery - the second largest refinery in California - have voted to strike if talks with management over benefits and salaries are not successful. However, representatives of the United Steel Workers union resumed talks with management yesterday, according to Reuters.
A contract proposal put forth by management was rejected on May 21 by USW workers. The refinery processes 166,000 barrels of crude per day. If there is a strike, an interruption of that production would certainly mean a spike in local gas prices, and probably have an effect on the national supply chain as well.
Talks between Tesoro and USW has been ongoing since the USW signed a national agreement with Shell on January 31. At issue, according to a story in the Martinez News Gazette, is the reduction of employee benefits in 2011 to cover the costs of an accident in 2010 at the Anacortes, WA Tesoro refinery. In addition to Washington, the company has refineries in Alaska, Utah, Hawaii and North Dakota.
According to a story on the World Socialist website, workers in all of Tesoro's refineries except Martinez have signed agreements.
Stay tuned to Martinez Patch for further updates as this story develops.