Steelworkers say disclosing risks is a step towards improving refinery safety
PITTSBURGH, Dec. 22, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sunoco Inc. (NYSE: SUN) has agreed to disclose important new information on its safety policies and track record at refineries and other production facilities, a move that the United Steelworkers (USW) commends. This action came in response to a shareholder proposal filed by the AFL-CIO Reserve Fund requesting that this information be disclosed to shareholders. The USW has long championed greater health and safety protections for workers and the environment.
Sunoco's 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility Report will now disclose important data on its tracking and categorization of Process Safety Management events as well as the number of pressure vessels and relief devices that have been overdue for scheduled inspection. Sunoco will also disclose and explain its worker fatigue policy and has agreed to work with the Steelworkers to develop a tracking system to report on the company's performance and implementation of the policy for its 2012 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.
The AFL-CIO Reserve Fund filed shareholder proposals for the 2011 proxy season calling for similar disclosures at Marathon, Valero, Tesoro, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips and Exxon-Mobil. To date, however, no other company has agreed to comply with the Fund's calls for increased transparency.
The USW, which represents hourly production workers at oil refineries across the country, has been advocating for increased protections for refinery workers and their communities as part of an ongoing Safe Refineries, Secure Jobs, Healthy Communities campaign.
"We have always contended that increasing transparency in this sector is key to improving refinery safety," said USW International Vice President for Oil Bargaining, Gary Beevers. "But we still have a lot of work to do. Workers are still getting killed on the job and communities are still at risk. The state of process safety management in this industry is atrocious."
In the first six months of 2010 alone there were 13 fires, 19 deaths, and 25 injuries in the oil sector, including BP's Gulf oil explosion, which killed 11 workers and caused the worst, and most expensive, environmental disaster in U.S. history. In a statement supporting their shareholder resolution, the AFL-CIO Reserve fund cited 128 safety violations at Sunoco refineries over the past five years, including 108 related to process safety management and 101 serious, willful or repeat violations.
The USW is the largest industrial union in North America and has 850,000 members in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. It represents workers employed in metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, atomic energy and the service sector.
CONTACT: Gary Beevers, +1-409-838-1972, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)