The Slatest

Oil Workers’ Strike Is Largest Since 1980

An oil refinery (stock photo).


Some 3,800 United Steelworkers at more than nine oil-industry sites—sites that account for 10 percent of the United States’ oil-refining capacity—are on strike in the largest such labor action since 1980. “While only one of the nine plants has curbed production amid the stoppage,” Bloomberg reports, “a full walkout of USW workers would threaten to disrupt as much as 64 percent of U.S. fuel output.” (Not all USW oil workers are currently striking; some are working under 24-hour contract extensions.)

The striking employees are seeking higher pay, “rules to prevent fatigue,” better health benefits, and “measures to keep union workers rather than contract employees on the job.” The strike began Sunday.

The United States is currently enjoying a long-term oil boom, though prices at the moment are very low and output is expected to slow soon.