CARSON, Calif. — More than 100 members of United Steelworkers Local 675 picketed outside Marathon’s Carson oil refinery here early in the morning Jan. 12, the day before national negotiations began between the union and Marathon Petroleum bosses. The current Marathon contract — which covers 30,000 oil workers — expires Feb. 1. At issue is a three-year contract covering wages, benefits and company-wide practices. Then each union local negotiates over local issues.
Workers carried signs saying, “Just practicing,” and demanded “no job cuts, no pay cuts and no takeaways.” Marathon is the largest U.S. refinery owner, operating 16% of national crude oil refining capacity. The contract will set the pattern for the oil industry.