Unite and USW Meet To Discuss Oil Industry Strategy

United Steelworkers International Vice President Gary Beevers and Jim Savage, President of Local 10-1 in Philadelphia, joined sixteen Unite oil refinery shop stewards to discuss a strategy for the oil refining sector at Unite’s training facility in Esher.

Unite shop stewards present represented workers at BP, Conoco Phillips, Ineos, Esso Fawley, Total, Essar Stanlow, Petroplus and Valero.
The meeting, chaired by Unite Executive Council Member Mark Lyon, also included Unite AGS Tony Burke, Unite National Officer Linda McCulloch, Director of Unite’s Research and International Department Simon Dubbins, Unite researcher Clare Baker, Michael Wolters of the German chemical union IGBCE and Tom Greatrex MP, Labour's Shadow Spokesperson on the Oil Sector.
Representatives of the UK Petroleum Industries Association and the Chemical Industries Association gave presentations on the future of the Oil Sector in the UK and Europe and on the effects of carbon emissions taxation.
The two day meeting was called to map out a future strategy for the Oil Sector in the face of major changes to energy requirements, the changing ownership of refineries and the need for the unions to co-operate on campaigning in the sector.
Discussions took place on the effects of the closure of the Petroplus Refinery in Coryton, UK; the industrial and political campaigns needed to make sure the UK government and future Labour Government heeded the warnings about the effects of over reliance on imports; the need to make the public aware of the dangers of refinery closures and energy needs; the ownership of refineries in the UK, EU and USA; closer working, communication and co-operation between Unite and Steelworkers union representatives in the Oil Sector and the need for a joined up strategy that covers exploration, downstream and delivery to filling stations.
Gary Beevers explained the history of the US Oil Industry and the changes now taking place. Jim Savage gave a detailed report on the USW Local 10-1 campaign to save the Sunoco refinery in Philadelphia, leading to a new company – Philadelphia Energy Solutions. Link http://www.marketwatch.com/story/saving-the-refinery-2012-08-20
Besides agreeing to produce a strategy for the UK Oil Sector, agreement wasRicky & Mark Exxon reached on the need for a political campaign and the need for unions affiliated to the IndustriALL Global and European Federations (link http://www.industriall-union.org) to press for that organisation to ensure the future of Oil refining was high on their agenda, that the future of refining in Europe be addressed through social dialogue structures already in place and the meeting also agreed joint co-operation across the industry on common issues with UKPIA and CIA.
The meeting also sent a message of support and solidarity to USW Local ‪13-2001 members Ricky Brooks and Mark Schubert from Baytown, Texas who have been dismissed without cause by ExxonMobile in an attempt to weaken USW organisation at the refinery.
You can also send a message of support for Ricky and Mark here.

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