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 has expanded to 15 refineries and chemical plants nationwide. The union is striking over the contracting out of routine maintenance work, safety issues and excessive overtime.

No other details were released about the progress of the talks on Wednesday. Shell is bargaining on behalf of the oil industry.

“Shell remains committed to negotiating a mutually satisfactory agreement,” the company said.

The Steelworkers represent 30,000 workers in oil refineries, chemical plants, pipelines and oil terminals nationwide, including 5,000 in the Houston area.

Across the U.S., the union represents more than 230 refineries, oil terminals, pipelines and petrochemical facilities in the U.S. Of those, 65 are refineries that process nearly two-thirds of the crude oil in the nation.