United Steel Workers 624 On Strike
About 240 hourly workers are on strike at the Husky Energy Inc. oil refinery in Lima, OH. USW Local 624 and Husky Energy failed to reach a contract agreement. Workers took to the picket lines May 25, 2012. The union and Husky could not come to terms in regards to working conditions, safety and use of personal time. Husky maintains that the company needs to reduce a "higher-than-standard" absenteeism rate. Salaried workers are currently maintaining the 155,000-barrels-a-day output of the refinery. Despite quiet, peaceful picket lines, Husky is paying for police presence during the strike.
Husky has violated labor law at the Lima plant in the past. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor ordered Husky to paid almost $1 million in back wages to workers at the Lima refinery. The company had switched some workers from 8 to 12 hour shifts, causing them to work 60 hr/24 hr alternating weeks. Instead of paying time-and-a-half for the 60 hour week, Husky "adjusted" the hourly rate for both weeks to average out to same pay for all hours.
Husky Energy is a Canadian energy company based in Alberta, Canada and had net earnings of $2.2 billion 2011. The corporation owns considerable oil sand leases in Canada and have plans to expand the Lima refinery to refine oil (tar) sands in 2013. Currently, the Toledo, OH refinery is involved in the Sunrise Energy Project. That refinery is 50% owned by each Husky and BP.
Originally a Standard Oil refinery, the Lima refinery has operated for 150 years without closure and produces about 25% of gasoline consumed in Ohio.