The United Steelworkers Union urged roughly 3,800 refinery workers to walk out after negotiations with Shell Oil Co. fell apart. Workers went on strike Feb. 1, at nine sites after their previous contracts expired.
The refineries called on to strike span the U.S. from Tesoro Corp.’s plants in Martinez, Calif., Carson, Calif., and Anacortes, Wash.; to Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s Catlettsburg complex in Kentucky; to three sites in Texas, according to the USW’s statement.
This is the largest USW strike since the 1980s. A full walkout of USW workers would threaten to disrupt as much as 64% of the U.S.’s fuel production, Bloomberg reported.
Negotiations with Shell for a new contract started Jan. 21. The call for a strike came after the USW rejected Shell’s fourth contract offer. The union claims the company refused a counter offer, and that Shell’s representatives left the bargaining table.
“We had no choice but to give notice of a work stoppage,” USW International President Leo W. Gerard said in a statement.