On Sunday, America’s oil workers staged the largest strike since 1980 after failing to come to an agreement on new labor contracts, Time reported.
The United Steelworkers Union (USW) failed to agree on the fifth set labor contract offers by lead negotiators Royal Dutch Shell PLC on behalf of major oil companies like Chevron and Exxon Mobil, and about 3,800 employees at work sites in nine states began to strike.
So far, the workers picketing the oil giants will affect plants that “account for 10% of the total US refining capacity.” If a full strike of union workers is called for, it could disrupt oil production by up to 64 percent.
“The problem is that oil companies are too greedy to make a positive change in the workplace,” said Tom Conway, USW international vice president of administration. “They continue to value production and profit over health and safety, workers and the community.”
The greed displayed by oil companies probably did not come as a shock to members of the USW, and shouldn’t be surprising to the general public either. Big oil companies operate without regard to the safety of not only their workers, but the environment and people that live and work in areas affected by their actions.
A quick look at the way these companies have handled any major oil spill or other production disaster proves that the only thing the care about is how much money they can stuff in their executives’ pockets.