Leaked Pennsylvania State Reports on Philadelphia-Area Refinery Shutdowns Set off Alarm about Massive Economic Devastation

Mar 13, 2012, 12:00 ET from United Steelworkers (USW)

  Projected Losses include 36,618 jobs and $566 Million in Tax Revenue

PITTSBURGH, March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new economic impact study from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry estimates greater job and tax revenue loss from the shutdown of three Philadelphia-area refineries than the United Steelworkers (USW) originally estimated.

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Information from the reports appeared in Kathleen E. Carey's article in the Sunday, March 11, 2012 edition of The Delaware County Daily Times. The article was titled, "Report: Sunoco, ConocoPhillips job losses could reach 36,000 in $560M economic hit for region."

The department's Center for Workforce Information & Analysis determined that 36,618 jobs were in jeopardy because of the closures of the ConocoPhillips Trainer, Pa., and Sunoco Marcus Hook, Pa., refineries and the soon-to-be-closed Sunoco Philadelphia refinery.

The study estimated that 18.3 jobs will be lost for each layoff in an oil refinery. These are jobs that are tied indirectly to the refineries such as service jobs and jobs in companies that supply the refineries.

"This situation is worse than we thought," said Local 10-1 President Jim Savage. "Other studies told us that for every direct refinery job lost another eight to 10 workers lose their indirect jobs. These job figures make it more crucial than ever that ConocoPhillips and Sunoco put more effort into finding buyers for these refineries."

The Center for Workforce Information & Analysis also published re-employment assessment reports that said 39 percent of the ConocoPhillips workforce, 156 workers, would have a fair to difficult time getting a new job. For Sunoco Marcus Hook employees, 42 percent or 250 workers, face the same difficulty in obtaining employment.

"It's a tough job market out there," said Local 10-901 President Dave Miller. "Our members are struggling to find jobs and it doesn't help that they'll be competing against thousands of other workers who also will be thrown out of work because of the shutdowns. Many don't want to leave this area to find work because they feel an allegiance to their local communities."

The center also determined that local communities would lose more than $566 million in state and local taxes if the three refineries are permanently closed.

"Combine these alarming statistics with the fuel supply shortages and price hikes that are anticipated and we have a critical situation in the Northeast," said Local 10-234 President Denis Stephano. "The time is now for the government to act. Our country can't afford these shutdowns."

USW represents about 1,200 of the 2,200 employees at the three refineries.

Lynne Hancock, USW, o) 615-831-6782, c) 615-828-6169, lhancock@usw.org










SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)