USW members at Tesoro refinery to rally Feb. 14 for fair contract

The following press release has been distributed by the United Steelworkers union:

ANACORTES, Wash. — United Steelworkers (USW) union members at Tesoro’s Anacortes facility are rallying at the refinery gate on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 11:30 a.m. to send Tesoro Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Greg Goff a message that the company needs to bargain fairly.

“USW members are sending a message to Mr. Goff that they expect to be treated with respect and dignity,” said USW Local 12-591 President Steve Garey. “Workers deserve a fair and equitable contract at each of the six Tesoro refineries that USW members maintain and operate. It’s high time Tesoro rejoins the ranks of decent employers.”

Mark Laurance, Local 12-591 unit chairman at the Tesoro Anacortes location, described the issues separating the parties: “Tesoro is demanding the unfettered right to modify pension, healthcare, 401(k), and vacation benefits. They have also failed to address our concerns with on-site emergency response needs. We lost seven of our friends, relatives, and co-workers at this refinery less than two years ago in a catastrophic failure — we’ll never forget that day.

“Tesoro slashed employee benefits in 2011. Goff now wants carte blanche to make further cuts as his mood suits. It’s crazy demands like this that illustrate what’s gone wrong with our country. Workers and their communities are told they must sacrifice, while Goff and his executive club friends reward themselves with millions in bonuses and pat themselves on the back for a job well done,” Laurance added.

While the National Oil Bargaining pattern agreement is settled, local issues still remain unresolved at Tesoro’s six USW-represented refineries in the U.S.

Local 12-591 represents workers at Tesoro’s Hawaii and Anacortes refineries as well as Shell’s Puget Sound Refinery.

For more information, visit www.USW.org.

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