USW Commends Hawaii Legislative Resolution to Expand Refinery Task Force Mandate and Include USW

PITTSBURGH, May 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --United Steelworkers (USW) commends the Hawaii State Legislature for passing Resolution HCR99/SD1 that urges Governor Neil Abercrombie to add a USW Local 12-591 member to the Hawaii Refinery Task Force and to broaden the issues the task force will review.

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"By passing this resolution, the state legislature has affirmed its commitment to working with a potential buyer to operate the Tesoro refinery in Kapolei," said USW International Vice President Gary Beevers, who heads the union's oil sector. "We are very appreciative of the legislature's support to keep this refinery operating."

The USW sent a letter to Governor Abercrombie on May 6, 2013 that requests the governor abide by the state legislature's resolution and appoint a Local 12-591 member to his Hawaii Refinery Task Force.

"We look forward to being invited to participate in the governor's task force," said USW District 12 Director Robert LaVenture. "The USW has a lot to offer here because of our experience saving refineries and keeping people working. Plus, our members have a major stake as well, and since we are the main union at the refinery, we deserve a voice."

The resolution broadens the Hawaii Refinery Task Force's mandate from examining the impact of the Tesoro refinery's closure to looking at alternative efforts to encourage the continued use or alternative use of the Tesoro refinery.

Specifically, the governor is urged to request the Hawaii Refinery Task Force to also examine:

  1. Legislative, administrative, and regulatory concerns that refiners may have in deciding whether to enter the refining industry in Hawaii and recommend strategies on addressing those concerns;
  2. The feasibility of continued use of Tesoro's refinery; and
  3. Potential alternative, green energy uses of the refinery assets, including conversion to green diesel fuel production.

"Expanding the Hawaii Refinery Task Force's scope of examination will help us find a buyer and keep good, family-supporting jobs in Hawaii," said Local 12-591 unit chair Pat Koge. "The state cannot afford high gas prices and the loss of over 2,000 jobs if the refinery is permanently closed."

A copy of the USW letter to Governor Abercrombie can be found HERE.

For a copy of the Hawaii Legislature's resolution, click HERE.

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.

Contact: Lynne Hancock, USW, 615-828-6169, lhancock@usw.org

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)



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