LIMA — While a classified ad appeared in The Lima News seeking temporary refinery workers, officials with the company that placed the advertisement and Husky Energy Inc. are mum about what it means for the operation of the Lima Refinery.Husky and United Steel Workers union Local 624 plan to return to the bargaining table today, which is day 13 of the strike.In Tuesday's newspaper, an ad seeks oil operators for a “midwest refinery.”A representative of the company that placed the ad, Process Technical Services Inc., declined to comment about whether the ad is meant for hiring temporary workers at Husky Lima Refinery or whether the ad is targeted at union members on strike.Texas firm Process Technical Services Inc. provides a range of temporary and long-term services for industries, including petrochemical, chemical, refining, pipeline, food, pharmaceutical, pulp and paper, hazardous waste, and power industries worldwide.James Grizzle is a certified safety professional with Process Technical Services. He declined to comment on the ad specifics.“The contact information [in the ad] is good for anyone to work anywhere in the world,” Grizzle said. “We hire worldwide.”This is the full ad: “Immediate need for Oil Movement Operators for midwest refinery. Experience in Tankyard Logistics for crude, intermediate products, shipping, and pipeline activities. Temporary assignment, training, benefits, shift work involved.”Husky spokesman Mel Duvall didn't directly answer the question of whether Husky is contracting with Process Technical Services to provide temporary workers at the Lima Refinery.“We remain focused on the safe and efficient operation of the refinery. We are also preparing to meet with the union and will work toward a timely resolution of the strike. We will continue to work with the union to reach an agreement that fairly rewards our workers for the work they do, and provides for the future viability of the refinery,” Duvall said. “While contingency plans must be explored, our focus is on achieving a positive outcome.”Union President Mike Edelbrock said some members emailed the contact in the ad and received “vague” responses. Edelbrock said he assumed Husky was behind the ad and said he was disappointed to see it a day before the two sides return to negotiating.“We can't stop them from doing what they're going to do,” Edelbrock said. “Our intention is to get an agreement.”However, both sides appear to be upping the ante ahead of today's negotiating.The local union met Tuesday with representatives of the international union, which would establish a “corporate campaign” against Husky if the strike drags on. The international union would put Husky's business practices under a microscope, scrutinizing the company with greater assets than the local union has, Edelbrock said.The international leadership also explained the medical benefits available to local members through a strike defense fund.Edelbrock also used informational meetings with employees Tuesday to address criticism from local members about the union leadership turning down Husky's settlement offer and going on strike rather than extending the strike deadline and taking the offer to the members for a vote.“That's what we used this meeting for. We showed them exactly what was on the table. We had not come to agreement on a number of worker rights issues,” Edelbrock said. “That settlement offer was voided as of the work stoppage, but we were horse trading, and trading away things we didn't want to, such as things involving the pension. We were left with no choice. It went well. I think [the members] understand now what we were facing then.”The local's 240 members have been on strike since May 25 over issues of safety, working conditions and use of personal time.The union and company, which owns the Lima Refinery, have been without a contract since April 14, and they were operating on a 24-hour rolling extension of the contract. The union membership rejected by a 5-1 margin May 4 the only proposed contract it voted on. The last time the Lima Refinery had a strike was in 1980, when the 400 workers with what was then the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers union joined 60,000 national workers in a walkout that lasted 11 weeks.You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.
Tara Cutlip, 21 and pregnant with her second child, was shot and killed Saturday in her Bahama Drive home. Loved ones gather in front of Tara's home to remember her and speak out against domestic violence.