OREGON, OH (Toledo News Now) - After more than a month of striking, United Steel Workers are still walking the picket lines in Oregon. Thursday, local union reps from the BP Husky Refinery will meet with corporate officials for the first time since the walk outs.
Both sides are remaining tight-lipped about negotiations.
Union reps tell us they are cautiously optimistic, and they say they just want to get back to work.
United Steel Workers have been striking since February 8th. Picketing has continued 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the ever-changing weather.
Fire still burns in garbage cans near the entrance gate and a tent is set up on site.
Union reps say this has been a challenging time as 13 different refineries across the country are fighting for change. They say their demands are clear.
Jonathan Cathers, Chairman of BP group, Local 1-346 USW“Our concerns really are about the health and safety of our workers and the health and safety of those that live in the areas around the refineries," said Jonathan Cathers, Chairman of the BP Group at Local 1-346 USW. "Whether that's through the appropriate staffing levels to run the refineries or whether that's through a fatigue management program, that helps protects our workers.”
BP says as the strike continues substitute workers have been brought in to complete the job.
We reached out to BP about this situation and the negotiations and they issued this statement: "We remain optimistic that through good-faith negotiations, we can find a mutually beneficial solution that lays the groundwork for a competitive business, safer operations, good jobs and economic opportunity for years to come."