An explosion at an ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance, Calif., earlier this week that injured four workers and shook homes for miles around was a chilling reinforcement of the safety concerns that striking oil workers have stressed, as the above video from the United Steelworkers ( USW ) shows.
Some 5,200 USW members are conducting unfair labor practice strikes at 11 refineries across the country with safety as a major concern. Says USW President Leo Gerard:
Our members work in dangerous and too often deadly conditions. While employers have reaped billions of dollars in profits over the past several years, they have done little to improve conditions for workers and surrounding communities.
The union is bargaining for new labor agreements to cover about 30,000 workers throughout the oil industry at 65 refineries and hundreds of pipelines, terminals, petrochemical plants and other facilities.
Click here to view videos produced by the Chemical Safety Board that highlight the dangers of working in the oil industry and why the men and women who do have serious safety concerns.