$8.08 Million Settlement Agreement for Payment of Bonuses Not Paid in Retaliation of Strike

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has approved a settlement agreement between Tesoro Refining and Marketing and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO-CLC (Steelworkers). Under the bilateral agreement, Tesoro will pay more than $8.08 million to 769 employees at their Carson, CA and Anacortes, WA facilities who engaged in the winter 2015 refinery strike. They will also post a notice for employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

In February 2015, collective bargaining agreements at both facilities expired. Workers at the Carson, Anacortes, and facilities across the country began a strike that stretched into late March when a new contract was reached. Once an agreement was reached ending the largest refinery strike in 35 years, employees at the Carson and Anacortes facilities returned to work.

On March 6th, Tesoro awarded bonuses for the previous year to non-unit and non-striking employees, but withheld such bonuses from striking employees deeming them ineligible to receive them under the parties' Memorandum of Understanding. These annual incentive bonuses were based upon performance and profits during the previous calendar year.

In response, charges were filed by the Steelworkers against Tesoro with the NLRB’s Region 21 Office in Los Angeles and Region 19 Office in Seattle alleging that the accrued bonuses were not paid in retaliation for the employees’ strike, and that failure to pay the bonuses was an unlawful modification of the parties’ contract. After the NLRB issued complaint in both cases, parties reached this settlement which will provide workers with 100% of the bonuses that they were eligible for under their contract.

By entering into the agreement, Tesoro does not admit to any violations of the National Labor Relations Act.

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