LM Sixel

LM Sixel

L.M. Sixel writes about the economy and the workplace for the Houston Chronicle. She started her newspaper career at the Beaumont Enterprise. Before that, she earned a Bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master's degree in economic history from the London School of Economics.

UPDATE: Steelworkers, Shell reach tentative deal to end refinery strikes

The union and Shell, which is representing the industry in the talks, had been in continuous negotiations since Monday.  More »

Union, Shell in longest stretch of contract talks yet

The dispute started with nine facilities but has since expanded to 15 refineries and chemical plants nationwide.  More »

Strike talks move into third day

Negotiators from the United Steelworkers union and Shell Oil Co. met Wednesday for a third consecutive day of talks this week. On Monday and Tuesday, the discussions went into the evening hours. The talks are taking place in Houston at an undisclosed location. Negotiators are trying to resolve the strike that began Feb. 1 and […]  More »

Union, Shell negotiators meet Monday

No details were released about the progress of the talks on Monday.  More »

Steelworkers fire back over unfair labor practice charges

The National Right to Work Foundation is providing legal help to three employees of LyondellBasell who filed unfair labor practice charges against the union.  More »

More labor board charges filed in Steelworkers strike

The National Right to Work Foundation announced Wednesday that three employees at LyondellBasell filed unfair labor practice charges against the United Steelworkers Union. The charges allege that union officials from Steelworkers Local 13-227 are harassing workers who are going back to work. The charges were filed Monday with the National Labor Relations Board, according to […]  More »

Steelworkers strike: More labor board charges filed

Late last month, LyondellBasell also filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB, accusing the Steelworkers union of harassing members who have returned to their jobs.  More »

USW, Shell met Wednesday and will meet again Monday

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday in Houston, according to the union, which added that it is prepared to continue negotiations continuously to get a new labor agreement.  More »

LyondellBasell accuses Steelworkers of threatening returning workers

The company also contends it has witnessed threatening behavior at the gates of its Houston refinery as employees arrive to work.  More »

Steelworkers’ local reminds strikebreakers of their union oath

The local union reminded its members about the initiation oath they took that included a promise to abide by the laws of the union, including, “I will cease work when authorized and approved by the organization to do so.”  More »

‘Disappointed’ in union, Shell says it is hiring relief workers

As the strike enters its second month, Shell has been training “relief employees” to operate its Deer Park refinery as well as its Norco chemical plant in Louisiana, according to a letter to employees from Aamir Farid, manufacturing vice president, Americas.  More »

Steelworkers, Shell to speak Wednesday

On the negotiation front, it’s been a quiet week for striking oil workers and energy executives. After the United Steelworkers union added three more refineries, including the nation’s largest, and one chemical plant to the list of facilities on strike over the past weekend, there was no movement at the bargaining table this week. That […]  More »

Some contractors (unionized) not so bad, Steelworkers say

The leaders of the United Steelworkers union and the North America’s Building Trades Unions issued a joint statement Wednesday to clarify the scope of contractor responsibilities at the nation’s refineries and chemical plants.  More »

Union is striking for safety, Steelworkers’ international head says

Improving health and safety at the nation’s refineries is the reason the United Steelworkers union is on strike, said Leo W. Gerard, international president of the union that has walked out of 15 refineries and chemical plants since launching its strike Feb. 1.  More »

No new talks set between Shell, Steelworkers

In a negotiations update Sunday, Steelworkers officials countered that oil industry negotiators refuse to address “well-documented and widespread safety deficiencies,” and “reject our efforts to reduce excessive overtime.”  More »
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