Hundreds of Chevron workers went on strike in California. Workers decided to go on strike after United Steelworkers Union and Chevron failed to reach an agreement.

Negotiations failed among Chevron and union

Chevron Corp oil refinery removed union workers ahead of beginning of first labor strike. More than 500 United Steelworkers members were laid off by the company. The company has also replaced them with non-union workers. The existing contract between the United Steelworkers union and the oil refinery expired on Feb 1 last month. Both parties were negotiating since then. However, they failed to reach out an agreement. Moreover, the union voted twice against the company’s offers.

“The union’s demands exceeded what the company believes to be reasonable and moved beyond what was agreed to as part of the national pattern bargaining agreement. Chevron is committed to continuing to negotiate toward an agreement.” Chevron spokesperson Tyler Kruzich said in a statement.

The strike started in the city of Richmond at 12:01 a.m. It started after the workers turned down Chevron’s most recent contract offer. However, the company has now decided not to negotiate any further. The union said it had negotiated a national agreement for oil workers on wages and working conditions. However, about 200 individual bargaining units still had to negotiate local issues.

Union’s Demands

The company offered a 2.5% pay raise for the employees. However, the union demanded an increase of 5% pay raise. They argued that this pay raise is necessary to cater the inflationary pressures and cost of living in the Bay Area. “It’s rough for the blue-collar worker in the Bay Area, and we asked for a 5% bump to help us out a little bit with our medical at Kaiser, which went up 23% last year,” B.K. White, a refinery operator said in a statement. White further argued that the company has already brought in 100 replacement workers who are not trained to operate the plants.

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    Chevron is an oil refinery based in San Ramon, California. The company said that they do not expect any supply chain issues due to strike.

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