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USW members at Anacortes refinery OK Tesoro contract

ANACORTES (May 23) — USW members at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes have voted to accept the company’s latest contract offer. Shortly after USW members protested May 3 outside Tesoro’s shareholder meeting in San Antonio, the company presented a revised “last-and-final offer” that reportedly included some key concessions on workers’ benefits.

USW members at Tesoro’s refinery in Mandan, N.D., also voted to ratify the contract, while members at the company’s refineries in Los Angeles and Martinez, Calif., continue to vote this week.

The majority of the approximately 200 USW members at the Anacortes refinery voted in favor of the agreement late Friday night, USW Local 12-591 President Steve Garey, told The Skagit Valley Herald. Tesoro made the union an offer last week that included some key concessions involving worker benefits that had risen to the top of the union’s priority list during negotiations, he said.

“It’s not perfect, but our members — a majority of them — felt that it was acceptable,” Garey said.

Some 1,300 USW members at the Tesoro refineries in North Dakota, Washington and California had authorized a strike over proposed benefits cuts and worker safety issues. On April 2, 2010, seven employees were killed in an explosion at the Anacortes refinery.

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