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The Longer Tail on the Steelworkers Strike

I have written recently on the steelworkers strike at several oil and chemical refineries around the country and the fact that the owner’s representatives and the USW national had reached a national agreement. I noted last week that even though a national agreement had been reached, the strike action was not over until the locals had finally negotiated their agreements on the issues at the local plants.

Workers at the Tesoro plants have agreed, but in the Houston area, the long tail is still at play. L.M. Sixel, business writer for the Houston Chronicle wrote this week that five plants are still on strike and that one might be close to a vote. Workers at BP, LyondellBasell and Marathon plants are still negotiating on their local issues, mostly centered on the way that the companies are proposing to change the way that “premium pay” is compensated.

The original strike action began on February 1, 2015 after the expiration of the last agreement. This is the 11th week that workers have been on strike. Even after a number of workers at the refineries and chemical plants have returned to work, the workers at 6 plants are not back on the job, a major issue for them and their families.