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Refinery Strikes Unlikely to Move Gasoline, Oil Prices


Steve Roppolo was quoted in the Houston Chronicles on January 31, 2015. The article “Refinery Strikes Unlikely to Move Gasoline, Oil Prices” discussed how steelworker strikes that began Sunday at seven U.S. oil refineries and two chemical plants have a slim chance of pumping up gasoline or crude prices dramatically in the near future.

Steve was quoted on his take of the union strikes.

Still, the union may decide to expand the strike to other facilities, as its membership covers refineries and chemical plants that make up 65 percent of the nation’s output of petroleum products. Or it may rotate which facilities it calls for a strike, to ease the economic burden on its workers while keeping pressure on refiners. But for now, the clock is ticking on how long workers and their families can stick it out, said Steve.

“I sometimes question their capacity to hold out for long periods of time,” Steve said. “The economic pressure they try to place on companies, they also place on themselves. Many families live paycheck to paycheck. You may see people crossing the line.”

Plus, a long, drawn-out strike is a risky strategy: If employees choose to stick it out, they could be permanently replaced, Steve said.

“This is kind of an opening blow,” he said. “But if I had to guess, I would think it will be a relatively short lived action.”

This article was also picked up by Fuel Fix on February 1, 2015.


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