Refinery workers, Shell reach tentative agreement in bid to end 6-week strike

Energy Associated Press

The United Steelworkers union has reached an agreement with Shell that could soon lead to the end of a six-week strike that has affected 12 U.S. refineries.

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The USW and Royal Dutch Shell have been negotiating a contract that would serve as a blueprint for agreements with other refiners.

The union said Thursday the tentative agreement provides yearly wage increases and keeps the current level of health care cost sharing. The agreement also provides for a review of staffing and workloads at refineries.

The union had accused refiners of creating unsafe conditions with extensive overtime requirements and using a growing number of contract workers, who the union says aren't as well-trained as USW members.

Union workers are expected to return to work as their local chapters reach agreements with refineries.