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United Steelworkers

Oil wells in the Franja del Orinoco region of Venezuela (Houston Chronicle)

These are the energy stories Houston cared about in 2015

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With crude prices stuck firmly below $40 a barrel, and energy companies predicting another austere year in 2016, here’s a look back at some of the most popular stories that appeared on FuelFix.com this year.
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These are the experts drawing battle lines over oil exports

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The cast of experts weighing in on the issue includes former Obama administration officials and military veterans.
A United Steelworkers Union member pickets outside Marathon Petroleum Company's Galveston Bay Refining Division on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Texas City. ( Mayra Beltran / Houston Chronicle )

Steelworkers to vote on agreement to return to work at Galveston Bay refinery

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The Marathon workers, who became locked in a heated battle over local issues including proposed company changes in work schedules and safety procedures, remain the only work group out of 15 nationwide still on the picket lines.
Don Robicheaux, safety coordinator for Marathon, stands in front of a crude unit, part of Marathon's estimated $3.2 billion expansion in Garyville, La. (AP Photo/Cheryl Gerber, file)

United Steelworkers reviewing contract proposal from Marathon Petroleum

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Workers have been on strike since Feb. 1. Hancock said one of issues is Marathon’s move to dismantle the labor/management partnership that was launched after an explosion and fire killed 15 workers in 2005, when BP owned the refinery.
Representatives from the United Steel Workers Union (USW) hold a rally at the entrance to the Marathon refinery in Catlettsburg, Ky. Saturday Feb. 7, 2015.   (AP Photo/The Independent, Kevin Goldy)

Striking refinery workers in Kentucky will return to work this week

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The USW workers went on strike Feb. 1 as part of the original nine sites that launched a nationwide walk out.
Dave Washington, left, Bobbie Thompson, and Kevin Hyde, United Steel Workers Local 13-227 members, employed by LyondellBasell Industries Houston, hold a strike claiming unfair labor practices at the oil refinery plant Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, in Pasadena, Texas. (Gary Coronado/Houston Chronicle)

LyondellBasell addresses striking employees in open letter

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Kevin Brown, an executive vice president of LyondellBasell, on Wednesday issued the following open letter to striking employees: Kevin Brown letter
Dave Washington, left, Bobbie Thompson, and Kevin Hyde, United Steel Workers Local 13-227 members, employed by LyondellBasell Industries Houston, hold a strike claiming unfair labor practices at the oil refinery plant Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, in Pasadena, Texas. (Gary Coronado/Houston Chronicle)

Shell workers in Deer Park end strike

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United Steelworkers at Shell Deer Park and Shell Chemical join employees at four Gulf Coast refineries in Louisiana and Texas who have also ended strikes.
Dave Washington, left, Bobbie Thompson, and Kevin Hyde, United Steel Workers Local 13-227 members, employed by LyondellBasell Industries Houston, hold a strike claiming unfair labor practices at the oil refinery plant Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, in Pasadena, Texas. (Gary Coronado/Houston Chronicle)

Striking refinery employees could come back to work by end of March

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Last week, negotiators for Shell, which was representing the industry, and the union agreed on a deal that provides a national framework for contracts.
USW workers rally in front to the Shell Building and City Hall on Friday, March 6, 2015 in Houston, TX. (For the Chronicle by Thomas B. Shea)

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

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The union and Shell, which is representing the industry in the talks, had been in continuous negotiations since Monday.
A striking United Steelworker Union member picketing outside the the Shell Deer Park Refinery Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, the fist day of the strike.
( James Nielsen / Houston Chronicle )

Union, Shell in longest stretch of contract talks yet

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