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USW calls for work stoppage at 9 plants, no local plants on list
SOUTHEAST TEXAS - By Scott Lawrence

USW spokeswoman Lynne Hancock sent the following email to KFDM News early Sunday morning detailing the call for work stoppages at 9 plants. No plants in Beaumont-Port Arthur are on the list.

National Oil Bargaining Talks Break Down: USW Calls for Work Stoppage at Nine Oil Refineries, Plants

Work Stoppage to Begin 12:01 AM Local Time

Pittsburgh—The United Steelworkers Union (USW) announced that it is calling for a work stoppage at the following US refineries:
LyondellBasell in Houston, TX;
Marathon Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas City, TX;
Marathon Houston Green Cogeneration facility, Texas City, TX;
Marathon Refinery, Catlettsburg, Ky;
Shell Deer Park Refinery, Deer Park, TX;
Shell Deer Park Chemical Plant, Deer Park, TX;
Tesoro Anacortes Refinery, Anacortes, Wash.;
Tesoro Martinez Refinery, Martinez, Calif.; and
Tesoro Carson Refinery, Carson, Calif.

All these refineries will go on strike at 12:01 am local time.

“Shell refused to provide us with a counter-offer and left the bargaining table,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “We had no choice but to give notice of a work stoppage.”

The remaining USW-represented refineries and oil facilities are operating under a rolling 24-hour contract extension. The USW represents 65 U.S. refineries and over 230 refineries, oil terminals, pipelines and petrochemical facilities in the U.S.

“We told Shell that we were willing to continue bargaining for a fair agreement that would benefit the workers and the industry, but they just refused to return to the table,” said USW International Vice President Gary Beevers, who heads the union’s National Oil Bargaining Program.

“This work stoppage is about onerous overtime; unsafe staffing levels; dangerous conditions the industry continues to ignore; the daily occurrences of fires, emissions, leaks and explosions that threaten local communities without the industry doing much about it; the industry’s refusal to make opportunities for workers in the trade crafts; the flagrant contracting out that impacts health and safety on the job; and the erosion of our workplace, where qualified and experienced union workers are replaced by contractors when they leave or retire,” Beevers added.

The USW rejected Shell Oil Company’s last offer. It was the company’s fifth offer to the union. Shell is the lead company for the National Oil Bargaining talks. National negotiations focus on establishing a pattern on wages, benefits and working conditions. Local union and unit negotiations focus on local issues at the particular facility.

The union offered to bargain over a safe and orderly shutdown or a safe and orderly transitional release.  Oil workers were told to stay at their posts until they were relieved or to finish out their shift.

“The oil companies do not want to work with us to improve the workplace and safety at oil refineries and facilities,” said USW International Vice President of Administration Tom Conway.
“This industry is the richest in the world and can afford to make the changes we offered in bargaining.

“The problem is that oil companies are too greedy to make a positive change in the workplace and they continue to value production and profit over health and safety, workers and the community.

“When the industry comes to its senses, we are more than willing to meet them at the bargaining table and negotiate a fair pattern agreement that will help everyone,” Conway added.

The union represents workers at 65 U.S. refineries that produce approximately 64 percent of the oil in the U.S.

The USW is the largest private-sector union in North America, representing 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, energy, chemicals, transportation, health care, security, hotels, and municipal governments.

Orange County death investigation
NEWS RELEASE from Orange County Sheriff's Office
RE:  Death Investigation
January 31, 2015

For Immediate Release: 

On Saturday, January 31, 2015, at 7:45 p.m., the Orange County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Baptist Hospital in Orange, Texas in reference to a death investigation.  The preliminary investigation into the death revealed that a 34 year old white male from Kirbyville, Texas and a 40 year old white male from Bridge City, Texas were at a residence in the 3500 block of Beadle Road in the Orangefield area of Orange County.  It was reported that they were involved in a physical altercation with each other when the 34 year old man lost consciousness.  The other man put him in his personal vehicle and drove him to the hospital in Orange where authorities were notified.

Investigators were on scene at the hospital and the residence to investigate the incident further and collect any evidence available.  It is unknown at this time what actually caused the death of the man and an autopsy has been ordered by Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 Judge Dunn.  The 40 year old man is cooperating with Investigators and no arrest has been made at this time.  The name of the deceased man is being withheld until notification can be made with family members.  More information may be released later as it becomes available.

Clint Hodgkinson
Chief Deputy

Beaumont police search for shooter tonight

Detectives are working to determine the circumstances that led to the shooting of a 35-year-old Beaumont man.

This afternoon, at about 1:25 p.m., patrol officers responded to a reported shooting in the intersection of Maida and Bigner.  When officers arrived, they found a man suffering from a possible gunshot wound to his upper body.  He was alert and conscious but he gave very sketchy and limited information about the circumstances surrounding his shooting.

He told officers that several black males, all between twenty to thirty years of age, confronted him as he walked down the street.  Sometime during the confrontation, one of the men pulled out a firearm and fired at him.  The men then fled in an unknown direction.  The victim also said that he thought the men came from a house located in the 6300 block of Bigner.  Officers set up a perimeter around the house and conducted a search but did not locate anyone inside.

Beaumont EMS transported the victim to St. Elizabeth where physicians were treating him for a  gunshot wound to his upper body.  Doctors were prepping him for surgery at the time of this release.

Detectives have no leads and very little info to corroborate the victim’s story.  They are asking that any person who may have information about the circumstances that lead up to the shooting, or information on possible actors, to call Crime Stoppers at 409-833-TIPS.  Your anonymous information could help detectives identify the people responsible for this shooting and may earn you a reward of up to $1,000.

Two-vehicle crash causes rollover, sends people to hospital
BEAUMONT - Paramedics rushed at least two people to the hospital Saturday night following a rollover crash on College Street in Beaumont, according to a Beaumont dispatcher.

It happened around 9:30 p.m. in the 6500 block of College Street and involved a Jeep and an SUV.

A witness told KFDM News that the jeep rolled over and a man crawled out from under the vehicle.

Another man in an SUV that was badly damaged was transported to the hospital along with at least one other person.

According to a dispatcher, Beaumont EMS was already at the scene --  working a different crash -- when the Jeep and SUV collided.

Stay with KFDM News for updates.

Man shot at a Beaumont residence; police have home surrounded
BREAKING NEWS: Beaumont police are on the scene of a shooting at Bigner and Maida Streets. They have a home surrounded.

It is unknown at this time if the shooter is still at the home.

The shooting victim has been transported to the hospital.

The shooting happened around 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Stay with KFDM News for updates.

Kristin Paris fundraiser online information
If you would like to help Kristin Paris' family with her funeral cost, you can donate to the Kristin Raye Paris fund.

You can donate on line at or at any Mobil Oil Credit Union.

Investigators: Sour Lake Post Office fire may be arson

SOUR LAKE - Investigators tell KFDM News a fire that heavily damaged the Sour Lake post office may been set by a homeless man and the post office will have to be relocated. A spokesperson for the postal service says it'll place boxes in a portable building in Sour Lake to allow that service to continue while the customers will have to go to the Kountze post office to transact business.

The fire was reported at about 1:45 a.m. Saturday at the post office at 665 6th Street, off Highway 105 in Sour Lake.

Watch KFDM News at 6 and 10 for updates on the investigation and reaction from families in Sour Lake.

Investigators say agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are on the scene. They're speaking with a potential suspect we're told may be a transient.

District Chief Glenn Withers tells KFDM there was significant damage to the inside of the building and the framework for the post office boxes, but he says most of the mail wasn't damaged. He told us there is water damage to some of the mail.



USW International issues strike notice

PITTSBURGH - The United Steelworkers International Union has issued a strike notice in advance of the contract expiration at midnight.

Spokeswoman Lynn Hancock tells KFDM News the notice is a legal requirement, notifying plants of a possible strike, but doesn't mean a strike will take place.

Contracts affecting thousands of refinery and petrochemical workers in Southeast Texas are set to expire at 12:01.

The contracts include local and national issues.

Even without an agreement, a contract extension can allow workers to continue at their jobs while both sides negotiate.


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