October 3, 2012
LIMA — After almost 10 hours of talks between United Steelworkers union and Husky Lima Refinery representatives on Tuesday, the company has accepted the union’s unconditional offer to return to work, thereby ending the four-month long strike.
The Husky union workers are to return to work Monday. Members’ medical benefits will resume Wednesday.
“Everybody’s going back right now under the old contract, unless something changes in talks between now and the 8th,” said Mike Edelbrock, USW Local 624 president.
Union leaders submitted a letter to the company Thursday, requesting the unconditional offer for union workers to get back to work while both parties can continue to negotiate a new contract for USW members.
The meeting on Tuesday lasted from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. During that time, a back-to-work document was established between the company and the union.
The contract between Husky and Local 624 expired April 15. Union members went on strike May 25, taking issue with safety regulations, personal time and sick time.
Union meetings will be held at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday that will go over training schedules and other details in preparation for their return to work.
“We have successfully concluded an agreement on conditions for a return to work that will ensure a safe and a smooth transitions of duties,” said Mel Duvall, Husky Energy spokesman, in an emailed statement. “We remain firmly committed, as we have been from the beginning, to getting our employees back to work as soon as possible. Since the strike began we have established a new central control facility. This facility contains state of the art systems to enhance safety and operations at the Refinery. A critical element of our employees’ return to work will include an orientation of that facility.”
Negotiations between the union and the company will resume at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.