USW Members Deliver Petition to Governor Abercrombie Requesting Help to Keep Tesoro Refinery Operating
News Release from United Steelworkers (USW)
KAPOLEI, Hawaii, March 20, 2013 United Steelworkers Union (USW) activists from Local 12-591 delivered 5,000 petitions this morning to Governor Neil Abercrombie, requesting his help in finding a buyer for Tesoro's Kapolei refinery.
The activists also requested that the governor appoint a USW representative to his committee that is examining the effect of a Tesoro refinery closure on the Hawaii economy. The USW represents the majority of workers at the refinery.
The USW expects a response from the governor.
"Shutting down the Tesoro Kapolei refinery is going to heavily impact our community," said Local 12-591 unit chair Pat Koge. "Not only will 210 high-paid refinery jobs be lost, but so will 2,000 other jobs that are dependent on the refinery and workers' paychecks." l.
"Turning the refinery into a terminal and importing fuel is likely to bring higher gas prices and possibly supply problems. Why should the fuel be refined overseas when we can do it right here at home and not throw people out of work?" Koge said.
The USW is the largest industrial union in North America and has 850,000 members in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. The union represents workers employed in metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, atomic energy and the service sector.