LIMA — The first nationwide strike at U.S. oil refineries since 1980 will not come to Lima, according to Husky Energy.
Since Feb. 1, workers in the United Steelworkers union in 11 refineries in California, Washington, Texas, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio have gone on strike after the union reported that negotiations with Shell Oil Co. had broken down.
Union negotiators have focused not on wages, but on overtime issues, work conditions, health care and the use of contractors to replace union members. In a statement released on the union’s website at the beginning of the strike, USW International vice-president of administration, Tom Conway, argued that oil companies have the money to be able to deal with these issues.
“The problem is that oil companies are too greedy to make a positive change in the workplace and they continue to value production and profit over health and safety, workers and the community,” he said.
Despite the fact that the BP-Husky Toledo Refinery has joined the strike, the Husky Lima Refinery will not participate.
“We have a contract in place until April of 2018, so Lima isn’t being directly affected by the strike action,” Husky Energy Media and Issues manager Mel Duvall wrote in an email.
Union representatives continue to negotiate with Shell Oil, and while the Husky Lima Refinery may not be affected by the strike, its workers will feel the impact of any negotiated settlement.
“The settlement reached with USW will factor into the contract we have with our workers, so we are monitoring the negotiations closely,” Duvall said.