Chevron, union schedule talks to end California refinery strike

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FILE PHOTO: Chevron Corp's refinery in Richmond, California

HOUSTON -Negotiators for Chevron Corp and the United Steelworkers union (USW) are scheduled to meet next week in an effort to end a strike at a San Francisco-area refinery, spokespeople for both sides said on Thursday.

The negotiators are scheduled to meet on Monday, said B.K. White, first vice president of USW Local 12-5, which represents about 500 workers at Chevron’s Richmond, California, refinery, who went on strike on Monday.

“We look forward to joining USW Local 5 in discussions next week and at work again soon,” Chevron spokesperson Tyler Kruzich said.

Workers were removed from the refinery on Sunday by Chevron after Local 12-5 issued a strike notice to the company following the collapse of talks after union members twice rejected company contract proposals.

The strike began shortly after 12 a.m. PDT on Monday. The previous contract expired on Feb. 1, but was being extended on a rolling 24-hour basis.

The local sought an additional 5% pay increase on top of a 12% raise over four years negotiated by USW International officials and oil refinery owners in February.

The additional 5% would mostly offset increases in healthcare costs for union members in the San Francisco Bay-area, which has a higher cost of living, union officials have said.

(Reporting by Erwin SebaEditing by Chris Reese and Sam Holmes)

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