Strike Update: Contracts Talks Slow, Deadline Nears
By Friday early evening, contract talks between Royal Dutch Shell PLC and the United Steelworkers appeared to slow over healthcare and safety issues, increasing the possibility that 24,000 oil refinery workers nationwide could strike Sunday.
The threat of a strike comes at a time of declining fuel demand, but the union is seeking to boost workers’ pay and benefits after several years in which oil companies’ profits soared.
Because of sinking demand for gasoline and other refined products and large inventory, a strike isn’t expected to mean a disruption in gasoline supply or a price spike, said Tom Kloza, chief analyst at the Oil Price Information Service. “I don’t think we’ll be paying $2.50 or $3 a gallon this spring unless we have a strike that’s like the French Revolution,” he said. The last nationwide strike by refinery workers was in 1980 and lasted about three months....MORE