Workers Cross Picket Lines As Union Threatens To Expand Oil Refinery Strike


The United Steelworkers’ nearly-month long oil refinery strike is showing no signs of ending soon, based on a Reuters report and could spread “if talks over improved safety conditions do not resume soon.”

With more than 6,500 union workers out on strike at 15 of the nation’s refineries, talks between the union and the industry’s lead negotiator, Shell Oil Co., have been stalled since last Friday.

The union’s president, Leo Gerard, told reporters on Tuesday that the strike may spread depending “on what happens in the next round of negotiations and that those negotiations resume fairly quickly.”

Meanwhile, the National Right to Work Foundation, has filed charges against the union for the union’s alleged intimidation of workers for “refusing to abandon their jobs” at a refinery in Deer Park, Texas.

According to the NRTW’s press release, the union has made it difficult for members to resign their membership (which would enable them to cross the picket line without facing union disciplinary actions).

At Smith’s plant in Deer Park, roughly 150 of the approximately 800-large workforce have continued to work during the strike, with many resigning their membership in the USW Local 13-1 union, as is their right under federal labor law and Texas’ popular Right to Work law. As the stream of workers resigning union membership and returning to work grows every day, it was reported that USW Local 13-1 union officials turned off their fax machine in an attempt to stop workers from exercising their right to resign and return to work.

Smith’s unfair labor practice charge alleges that USW Local 13-1 union officials are resorting to harassing, coercing, and threatening workers for refusing to abandon their jobs. Further, USW Local 13-1 union officials have allowed the union’s website and Facebook page to be used to communicate threats against workers who continue to work during the strike. [Emphasis added.]

No dates has been set for negotiations to resume, according to the USW’s Gerard.


  1. No surprises here…..Threats, intimidation, and violence have been the hallmarks of the old OCAW, which was succeeded by PACE, and now USW. The name changes, but the “traditions” remain the same……Unfortunately, someone will wind up getting hurt, if not killed.

  2. No one cares about the working man anymore. unions have destroyed the trades with the help from government unionized workers, amen.


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