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Marathon Catlettsburg refinery workers OK new pact

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(Credit: Reuters) Members of the United Steel Workers union picket the Tesoro refinery in Carson, California February 2, 2015.Workers' Strike
April 4
4:21 AM 2015

Hourly workers represented by the United Steelworkers union (USW) at Marathon Petroleum Corp's Catlettsburg, Kentucky, refinery voted on Friday to approve a new contract, ending a two-month work stoppage, a company spokesman said.

The workers at the refinery, who walked off their jobs on Feb. 1 as part of the largest strike by U.S. refinery workers in 35 years, are scheduled to begin returning to work next week, according to a report posted on the website of the Ashland, Kentucky, Independent newspaper.

"We are pleased that the contract was ratified," said Marathon spokesman Chuck Rice.

The Catlettsburg refinery continued production during the strike with temporary replacement workers.

Workers at 15 plants, including 12 refineries that accounted for one-fifth of national crude oil processing capacity, walked off their jobs while the USW was negotiating a national agreement governing wages, benefits and safety policies with lead U.S. refinery owner negotiator Shell Oil Co, the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

A new national agreement was reached on March 12. Workers at several locations have continued work stoppages while local issues are hammered out.

Workers remain on strike at Marathon's Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas City, Texas, and at an adjoining power generation plant.

Strikes are also continuing at BP Plc's Whiting, Indiana, refinery, the BP-Husky Energy joint-venture refinery in Toledo, Ohio, and Lyondell Basell Industries refinery in Houston.

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