Phillips 66 Bayway refinery workers to vote on contract Friday

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 07, 2012 1:20 PM
Phillips 66 Bayway refinery workers to vote on contract Friday

By Janet McGurty

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Members of the Teamsters Union at Phillips 66's 238,000 barrel-per-day Bayway refinery in Linden, New Jersey, will vote Friday on whether to ratify their latest labor contract, as recommended by the union's executive board.

Several quality of life issues including work rules, overtime pay, and scheduling changes could lead some union members to vote against the contract, according to a source familiar with the situation.

If the contract is voted down there will not be an immediate strike but rather a return to negotiations. The contract at the refinery does not end until October 1, but contract negotiations began in June which provided a longer window for the talks.

Rich Johnson, a spokesman for Phillips 66, said the company would prefer to wait until after the ratification vote before offering any comment.

Bayway is the northernmost refinery along the U.S. Atlantic Basin. Originally built in 1909 by John D. Rockefeller, it was operated by Exxon for many years before passing through several mergers and spinoffs to become an asset of Phillips 66.

Its nickname, "The Gasoline Machine," is derived from its gasoline-making fluid catalytic cracking unit, which at 145,000 bpd is the largest in the nation. It has the capacity to supply half the gasoline used in New Jersey, the nation's 11th most populous state.

Over the last year, three other regional refineries were at risk of closure. The loss of half of the region's refining capacity concerned high-level legislators who stepped in to aid in brokering deals that kept two of the three running.

(Reporting By Janet McGurty)