© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Chevron Corp’s refinery is shown in Richmond, California August 7, 2012. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
(Reuters) – The union representing workers at a Chevron (NYSE:CVX) oil refinery in Richmond, California, has told its members to prepare for a strike shortly after 12 a.m. on Monday barring agreement on a new labor contract.
The United Steelworkers union (USW) at the 245,000 barrel-per-day plant outside of San Francisco said in a notice to members that it has canceled a contract extension, “offered the company a safe and orderly shutdown,” and was awaiting a reply from Chevron.
Chevron is committed to continuing to negotiate toward an agreement, a spokesperson said in a statement on Sunday.
However, the San Ramon, California-based company “is prepared to continue normal operations safely and reliably to provide the energy products that are needed by consumers,” the spokesperson added.
Union officials were holding discussions on their next steps, a union official said. On Saturday, the union had advised machinists to go to the refinery and remove their personal tools before the contract extension expires. The United Steelworkers represents about 600 workers at the plant, the official said.
The union members have twice voted to reject contract proposals put forward by Chevron. The last vote, completed on Saturday, was overwhelmingly against what was called the company’s last, best and final offer, according to messages posted on-line by USW Local 12-5.
The refinery is a major supplier in the state of gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel. California has some of the highest gasoline prices in the nation with a gallon of unleaded regular selling for $5.847 on Sunday, according to motorist group AAA.