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USW gets tentative contract - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

USW agrees to tentative contract

The United Steel Workers Union leaders and major U.S. Oil Companies have reached a tentative agreement on a contract.

Current contracts were expected to expire at midnight Tuesday, but this tentative three-year agreement with the oil industry will now keep 3,000 Jefferson and Orange County workers on the job.

Local unions will have to accept the agreement before it can be approved by the national USW union. The local refineries affected are Valero, Exxon Mobil, and Chevron Phillips.

Union leaders there are relieved because work will resume as normal Wednesday. at local companies.

The immediate threat of a strike by USW members has ended with the new national agreement.

USW National Spokesperson Lynne Hancock says union demands for better wages, benefits and a safer working environment were met by Shell at the national level.

Sources within the local industry tell 12 News HD the raises offered run 2.5 percent the first year and three percent the next two years.

The tentative contract has moved on to the local level at Exxon Mobil, Valero and Chevron Phillips.

Chevron Phillips will get a 24 hour extension to see and discuss the agreement.

Work there will resume Wednesday for 107 union members.

Union members at Exxon Mobil are also waiting for national leaders to approve local contract demands.

The 800 union members at Exxon Mobil will give the company a 24 hour extension before making a decision.

USW members at Valero will get the chance to review and vote on the new contract in a few days.

The national USW union says it is glad it did not have to come down to a strike

"We're glad that there is not a strike, and we're just pleased that we have a tentative agreement," says Hancock. "From this point, our members will be reviewing the agreement and voting on it by meetings held by their local unions."

The USW says votes will take place over the next several weeks. The union represents 30,000workers at 168 companies.

Overall, it is the largest industrial union in North America.

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