The 2015 US oil workers strike
By Jessica Goldstein, 22 February 2019
The overwhelming “no” vote by oil workers at Marathon Petroleum in Galveston Bay, Texas reflects growing worker militancy in the face of the continuing attacks on living standards.
By Jessica Goldstein, 31 January 2019
On the eve of contract deadlines for 30,000 oil and chemical workers in the US, the United Steelworkers union is colluding with oil corporations behind closed doors to prepare a sellout contract.
By Tom Hall and Jerry White, 25 June 2015
After nearly five months, the United Steelworkers wore down oil refinery workers in Galveston, Texas, completing the union’s betrayal and defeat of the 2015 strike.
By Tom Hall, 8 June 2015
The acquittal of David Rainey means that not a single BP executive will have been held accountable for the worst environmental disaster in American history.
By Jerry White, 22 May 2015
Workers at Marathon’s Galveston Bay, Texas refinery overwhelmingly defeated an agreement pushed by the United Steelworkers and a federal mediator.
By Marcus Day, 16 May 2015
Facing isolation imposed by the union, oil workers voted to accept contracts at BP and LyondellBasell, while workers at Marathon’s Galveston Bay refinery will vote Monday.
By Marcus Day, 5 May 2015
Even as it rewards its executives and shareholders, BP has repeatedly claimed that it must cut costs and impose harsh working conditions to remain competitive.
By Tom Hall, 20 April 2015
LyondellBasell will begin unilaterally imposing the terms of a contract that includes huge givebacks on overtime pay.
By Niles Williamson, 18 April 2015
The world’s largest oilfield service company, Schlumberger, announced this week that as a result of declining oil production it will cut 11,000 jobs worldwide, bringing the firm’s total layoffs so far this year to 20,000.
By Marcus Day, 13 April 2015
As the oil companies insist there is no money to improve working conditions or wages, last week Shell announced a $70 billion takeover of the natural gas company BG.
By Tom Hall, 6 April 2015
The United Steelworkers union pushed through a sellout contract at the striking Marathon refinery in Kentucky last Friday, further isolating workers at the remaining four struck facilities.
By George Marlowe and Jerry White, 1 April 2015
The March 27 event sponsored by the United Steelworkers and AFL-CIO was billed as a “solidarity” rally for 1,100 workers on strike at the BP Whiting, Indiana refinery for nearly two months.
By Tom Hall, 31 March 2015
The death at Valero’s St. Charles refinery occurred as the United Steelworkers began winding down the strike at Motiva’s Norco refinery, which lies directly across the street.
By George Marlowe, 26 March 2015
Workers at BP’s Whiting, Indiana plant and a handful of other refineries remain on strike, as the USW works to quickly end the walkout at Shell, Tesoro and other companies.
By Jerry White, 24 March 2015
Strikes continue at BP, Marathon, LyondellBasell and Tesoro, as the United Steelworkers seeks to impose its pro-company deal on oil workers throughout the country.
By E.P. Bannon and Tom Hall, 23 March 2015
Workers at the LyondellBasell refinery expressed frustration and anger at the United Steelworkers for deliberately isolating their struggle.
By Jerry White and Kevin Reed, 21 March 2015
The ISO does not even pretend to criticize the USW, which from the beginning of the strike worked to prevent it from developing into a broader movement of the working class.
By Jerry White and Zac Corrigan, 20 March 2015
Oil workers who remain on strike at the Tesoro Carson refinery near Los Angeles, California and the BP Husky refinery near Toledo, Ohio spoke to the World Socialist Web Site.
By Jerry White, 19 March 2015
The sellout deal signed by the United Steelworkers has opened the door for the companies to break up the national agreement and reverse the past gains of oil workers.
By Jerry White, 18 March 2015
Oil workers continue to walk the picket lines at refineries across the US despite the efforts of the United Steelworkers to shut down the month-and-a-half long strike.
By Jerry White, 17 March 2015
The oil refinery strike has pitted 30,000 workers against some of the richest and most politically connected corporations in the world.
By our correspondents, 17 March 2015
Workers and young people back the six-week strike and condemn the United Steelworkers union for trying to ram through a sellout agreement.
Reject USW-Shell sellout deal!
By Jerry White, 16 March 2015
The rotten agreement reached by the unions and Shell is not why workers walked on the picket lines for a month and a half, sacrificing their paychecks and health benefits.
By our reporters, 14 March 2015
Picketing by oil workers will continue until agreements are passed at each separate refinery, with workers who do not accept the terms left completely isolated.
By Tom Hall, 14 March 2015
The March 6 walkout by over 1,000 non-union contract employees revealed the potential for refinery strikers to link up with workers throughout the industry.
By Jerry White, 13 March 2015
Any deal reached on the basis of blocking the full mobilization of oil workers against the intransigence of the energy giants can be nothing but a miserable betrayal.
Five years since refinery disaster at Anacortes, Washington
By Diana Green, 12 March 2015
The crippling of the oil workers’ strike by the USW is the outcome of decades of labor-management collaboration and support for the big-business Democratic Party.
12 March 2015
This pamphlet is vital reading to gain a deeper understanding of this significant movement of the working class in the heart of world capitalism. It contains articles reviewing the political lessons and historical background to the strike.
By Jerry White, 11 March 2015
The USW has concentrated its energy not on defending workers against the energy conglomerates, but on threatening and harassing reporters from the World Socialist Web Site.
By Jerry White and Alan Gilman, 10 March 2015
At the massive Tesoro refinery in Carson, California, near Los Angeles, strikers said they were fighting for all workers and against years of eroding wages and work conditions.
A warning to US oil workers on South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers
By Thabo Seseane Jr., 10 March 2015
Last month’s tour of Houston picket lines by officials from South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers underscored the anti-working class character of the United Steelworkers.
By David Brown, 9 March 2015
The USW has constrained the extent of the oil workers’ strike as the companies are preparing to bring in full-time strikebreakers.
By E.P. Bannon, 7 March 2015
While the oil giants have pointed to the fall in crude prices to justify their hard line against striking oil workers, they continue to make vast profits through their refining operations.
By Shannon Jones, 6 March 2015
The USW boasts of close relations with the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm that profits off the restructuring and downsizing of distressed companies.
By Jerry White, 5 March 2015
Encouraged by the treachery of the United Steelworkers union, global oil giant Shell has announced that it will train strikebreakers to resume full production at its Texas and Louisiana plants.
By Jerry White and Seraphine Collins, 5 March 2015
A contractor with extensive experience in oil refineries speaks on the long hours, dangerous conditions and other issues that have led to the largest strike in the oil industry since 1980.
As strike passes one-month mark
the Socialist Equality Party, 3 March 2015
As the strike by oil workers in the US enters its second month, it is necessary to draw a balance sheet of the key strategic and political issues at stake.
By George Marlowe and Jeff Lussane, 3 March 2015
Workers at BP’s refinery in Whiting, Indiana called for an all-out strike by 30,000 USW oil refinery employees.
As strike passes one-month mark
By Jerry White, 2 March 2015
The USW, desperate to head off a confrontation with the Obama administration, is ignoring growing demands from oil workers for a national strike.
By E.P. Bannon and Tom Hall, 2 March 2015
The walkout in Louisiana demonstrates the militancy and resolve of the working class in the American Deep South.
By Niles Williamson, 2 March 2015
The union-sanctioned protest was markedly smaller than in 2011, when tens of thousands of workers and students filled the streets of the state capital to oppose right-wing legislation.
By Kevin Martinez, 28 February 2015
The companies are among the most profitable multinational corporations in the world, with deep ties to the Obama administration and the federal government.
By Jerry White, 27 February 2015
In a “Letter to USW Oil Workers,” USW President Gerard made no attempt to explain the union’s selective strike policy or present a strategy against the intransigence of the oil giants.
By Jerry White, 26 February 2015
With US oil workers locked in their biggest battle in 35 years, the United Steelworkers union and the AFL-CIO continue to isolate their strike.
By Jerry White, 26 February 2015
Some 6,500 oil workers are on strike at refineries in Texas, California, Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Washington state. This is a new collection of photos taken on the picket lines.
By Jerry White, 25 February 2015
The struggles of oil and dockworkers in the US and strikes by German and Australian rail workers point to the need for an international strategy for the working class.
By Seraphine Collins and Tom Hall, 25 February 2015
As the strike by oil refinery workers entered its fourth week, workers remained defiant in the face of intransigence by the oil giants.
By Jerry White, 24 February 2015
As the strike by oil workers enters its fourth week, the energy conglomerates are refusing to budge on demands for improved safety and working conditions.
By Jerry White, 23 February 2015
There is a growing sentiment among oil workers for a unified struggle against the companies—a sentiment that the unions are determined to contain and suppress.
By our reporters, 23 February 2015
Ford workers in Chicago and Chrysler workers outside Detroit called for expanding the strike to other industries.
By Dan Conway, 23 February 2015
The main goal of the port operators has been to push for even greater casualization of the labor force, aimed at the reintroduction of the notorious “shape up” system.
By Clement Daly, 23 February 2015
Existing government regulations are woefully inadequate given the new reality of ever-longer trains pulling massive shipments of volatile oil through towns and cities.
By Gabriel Black, 21 February 2015
On social media, striking oil refinery workers have expressed overwhelming support for a national strike and anger towards the divisive policy of the United Steelworkers union.
By Thomas Gaist, 20 February 2015
The growing determination of oil workers has made it impossible for the United Steelworkers union, up to this point, to bring back another sellout deal.
By Thomas Gaist, 19 February 2015
There is widespread support among workers at Exxon Mobil’s Torrance, California refinery—where the explosion took place Wednesday—to join the 5,200 oil workers already on strike.
By Shannon Jones, 18 February 2015
Over the past three decades, the USW has overseen the betrayal of scores of strikes and the decimation of workers’ jobs, health care and pensions.
By David Brown, 17 February 2015
Refinery workers are locked in a bitter confrontation with the oil conglomerates, with no new talks scheduled until Wednesday.
By Jerry White, 16 February 2015
The White House is intervening entirely on behalf of the shipping and terminal owners and, more generally, the corporate and financial elite in the US.
By our reporters, 14 February 2015
As the strike of US oil workers enters its second week, the WSWS spoke to picketers at the Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery in Martinez, California.
By David Brown and Charles Abelard, 14 February 2015
Thirty-five years ago, US oil refinery workers carried out a nationwide strike, breaking through wage guidelines set by the Carter administration.
As US oil strike nears end of second week
By Jerry White, 13 February 2015
Coinciding with punitive actions against striking oil workers, the lockout of dock workers is part of an offensive against workers’ demands for improved wages and conditions.
As talks are suspended
By Eric London, 12 February 2015
Workers at the BP-Husky refinery outside of Toledo, Ohio spoke on working conditions and the need to broaden their 12-day strike against the world’s richest oil companies.
By E.P. Bannon, 11 February 2015
The resumption of backroom talks between union executives and the oil giants is aimed at ending the strike and pushing through a sellout agreement for 30,000 oil workers.
11 February 2015
Over 5,000 oil workers are on strike at refineries in California, Texas, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Washington state. The following is a collection of photos from the picket lines as well as photos from the 1980 strike.
By Jerry White, 10 February 2015
The strike is a harbinger of a renewal of open class struggle in the United States with far-reaching implications in the US and internationally.
By Jerry White, 9 February 2015
After decades of declining living standards—even as corporate profits and share prices have soared—the oil refinery strike heralds an emerging “wages push” by American workers.
“If we all took a stand together we would be stronger”
By our reporters, 9 February 2015
WSWS reporting teams spoke to refinery workers on strike throughout the United States.
As walkout spreads to Indiana, Ohio BP refineries
By Jerry White and E.P. Bannon, 7 February 2015
The Obama administration is concerned that the USW could lose control and the struggle could inspire other sections of workers into action against deteriorating wages and working conditions.
By E.P. Bannon, 5 February 2015
Low oil prices have sparked layoffs and pay cuts throughout all sectors of industry.
By Dan Conway and Jerry White, 4 February 2015
While workers are looking for a serious struggle, the United Steelworkers has limited the job action to largely symbolic picketing at nine out of 65 unionized refineries.
By Jerry White, 3 February 2015
Shell and other international oil firms are opposing workers’ demands for improved wages and safety conditions.
By Jeff Lusanne, 2 February 2015
The United Steelworkers union called a selective strike at nine oil refineries after the labor agreement covering 30,000 oil industry workers expired Sunday morning.