Steelworker strikes at oil refineries that began in California now expanded to two BP refineries in the midwest at Whiting, IN, and Toledo, OH. This is the first national strike of steelworkers since 1980. Read the report on the strike from Crain’s Chicago Business. To get the perspective of the Union, read an interview with workers at In These Times.
Note the reference to using “contractors” to do more work at the refineries. “Independent contractors” are often temporary employees hired through agencies. Though usually qualified to do the work, companies are not required to provide benefits or pay union wages to “contractors”. One of the concerns about use of “contractors” is the compromise of safety. Just this week, an oil refinery in Torrence, CA, exploded, killing 4 people. Though the cause of the explosion is unknown, it raises questions and concerns about refinery safety and the use of “contractors.”
Does our Lenten Compact have something to say about this?