Steelworkers, Marathon Petroleum reach tentative deal for Texas City refinery

The United Steelworkers union announced Monday night it reached a tentative deal with Marathon Petroleum’s Galveston Bay Refinery to end the strike of 1,200 workers that started Feb. 1.

The pact, if approved by the union members, would mark the end of a nationwide walkout that at its height affected 15 refineries, chemical plants and other locations.

The striking employees at the Marathon refinery in Texas City include those who work in operations and maintenance.

Marathon Petroleum accepted the union’s contract offer late Monday afternoon, Union spokeswoman Lynne Hancock said in an e-mail. The union will begin talks Tuesday morning with the company for an agreement that details the process for union members to return to work.

No details were available on the new labor pact. Marathon officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Once a back-to-work deal is reached, union officials will schedule a membership meeting and union members can vote on whether or not to accept both the employment contract and the return-to-work deal.

The last nationwide refinery strike was in 1980 and at some companies, workers were out for as long as five months.

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