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Oil refiners, union agree on contract

February 04, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Refiners and union employees reached a tentative contract agreement, averting a strike that would have idled as many as 30,000 workers who produce almost two-thirds of the gasoline, diesel and other fuels made in the U.S.

The settlement means there will be no interruption in refinery operations, which would have affected product supply in advance of the gasoline driving season and probably led to higher prices.

The union and Royal Dutch Shell, which represented employers, agreed to terms after 12 days of meetings in Austin, Texas, United Steelworkers International Vice President Leo W. Gerard said. The union said it didn't win the safety improvements it sought.

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