The Chevron Richmond Refinery and United Steelworkers (USW) Local 5 announced on May 28, 2022, that USW membership has ratified a new agreement. USW employees will return to work over the upcoming weeks.
USW Local 5 Strike at
Our United Steelworkers (USW) and other represented colleagues play an important role in helping run our nation’s energy infrastructure. Chevron has partnered successfully with labor unions for decades and will continue to do so as we work together to respond to the world’s growing energy needs, and build and operate the facilities that will help us deliver on expectations for a lower carbon future.
Unfortunately, we’ve had to produce and deliver the products that consumers in the Bay Area need without our valued USW colleagues since Sunday, March 20, 2022. We’re grateful for our experienced and qualified Contingency Crew of colleagues who have been preparing to safely run the facility in the case of a strike over the last year. We remain committed to continuing discussions with the USW with the goal of having our colleagues back at work.
Thank you for visiting this site for the latest USW Local 5 Strike facts. Please continue to return for updates.
Frequently Asked Questions
MARKET AND PRICES
Q: Will gas prices increase during the strike?
A: We will not speculate on the price of oil and cannot forecast gasoline prices. Prices are affected by global market forces including supply, demand and competition. Many factors figure into gasoline prices including unique ones specific to California. In addition to oil price, other factors include the marketplace competitive conditions, the higher cost to produce California Air Resources Board gasoline specifications, costs associated with fuel distribution, local, state and federal taxes, California carbon-compliance costs, recent inflationary pressures, and fixed costs of doing business that are often higher in California relative to other states (e.g., the cost of commercial real estate). The vast majority of our California branded stations (85 percent) are owned by independent businesspeople who make pricing decisions. We do not expect there to be supply disruptions and anticipate being able to safely and reliably provide the products that consumers need.
Q: What type of jobs does the USW perform at Richmond?
A: Some of the roles include operators, mechanics, trainers, lab technicians and machinists.
Q: What is “pattern bargaining?”
A: Chevron participates in our industry’s National Oil Bargaining Program (NOBP) where USW International and a lead employer (Marathon in 2022) negotiate wage increases and other terms. USW and Marathon reached an agreement in February 2022 which set the “national pattern.” Chevron Richmond honored all terms of the NOBP pattern agreement which provided wage increases for covered employees of 2.5% (in 2022), 3.0% (in 2023), 3.0% (in 2024), 3.5% (in 2025). As shown below, the pattern framework provides a fully qualified USW process operator with a base salary of $115,003* in 2022 a 12.55% compounding raise over the contract period.
compound increase in base salary*
base salary* in 2025
*Assumes 2,184 hours for 12-hour shifts, excluding unscheduled overtime
Q. Is Local 5 an outlier?
A: Yes, with the positive USW Local 5 vote at Marathon Martinez on April 11, 2022, 34 of the 35 contracts up for renewal nationally have been ratified. This includes 8 of the 9 California contracts up for renewal in 2022, including three Bay Area facilities. These agreements follow the national pattern that includes a 12.55 percent raise over four years. We hope USW Local 5 at Richmond joins the others soon.
Q: Is this an unfair labor practice strike?
A: No. An unfair labor practice strike is over an employer’s unfair labor practice(s), which are violation(s) under the National Labor Relations Act. In this case, the USW is striking over economic concessions. Chevron continues to bargain in good faith and its position is that this is an economic strike, and not an unfair labor practice strike.
Q: What is the current status of the negotiations?
A: Chevron remains committed to continuing discussions with USW so we can reach an agreement. Throughout this process, Chevron has bargained in good faith and been willing to meet with USW representatives at mutually agreeable times and locations.
Q: How did we get here?
- The previous Chevron and USW agreement expired January 31, 2022.
- The two parties started negotiations in January 2022 and agreed to rolling extensions in alignment with the National Oil Bargaining Program “pattern” negotiations process as they extended into February.
- USW and Marathon reached an agreement on February 28 which set the National Oil Bargaining Program “pattern.”
- After the NOBP pattern settled, Chevron continued with rolling extensions with Local 5 and reached the first tentative agreement on March 2 which was voted down by USW membership on March 11.
- The parties returned to the bargaining table on March 14 and continued to bargain in good faith.
- A second tentative agreement was reached on March 16 and was not ratified on March 19.
- On March 20, USW cancelled the 24-hour rolling extensions and put the company on notice that they would strike on March 21 at midnight.
- The company took over operations the afternoon of March 20 to continue to safely and reliably provide the products that Bay Area consumers need.
- The parties resumed dialogue on March 28 and continued to bargain in good faith.
- The parties met on Monday, April 11 and Chevron tabled a third offer that remained available until Monday, April 18 at 12:01 a.m, which the Union did not accept. The Union tabled a counter offer to the Company on April 12, which the Company did not accept.
Q: What if a USW member wants to cross a picket line and work?
A: Chevron has no intent to lock out its workforce and will have work available to employees who do not wish to participate in a strike when appropriate.
Q: Do workers have to join the USW?
A: No. Workers can work at our facilities without joining a union. Although many refinery jobs are unionized, Chevron employees are not compelled to join the union. Those workers who choose to opt out of the union may be required to make so-called “fair share” payments, which are usually much less than normal union dues. This amount is designed to cover the cost of collective bargaining, but not the union’s political activities. Chevron is not involved with these payments.
SAFETY AND HEALTH
Q: Did Chevron hire local police officers to help manage traffic safety at gates?
A: Chevron Richmond frequently coordinates with local police and fire departments and highway patrol as part of safety mutual aid agreements and because we’re located at two critical traffic junctures during heavy commute times. As part of the response to extra people and vehicles at gates due to picketers, we received help from local officers from Richmond and San Pablo. Chevron appreciated the help of local off-duty officers to encourage safe and smooth movement through gates at times of increased in and out flow of our workforce, supplies and products.
Q: How can you guarantee safety won’t be compromised during a strike?
A: At Chevron, safety is one of our core values. We are committed to protect the safety and health of people and the environment, and to conduct our operations reliably and efficiently. Our operations meet or exceed local, state and federal safety regulations.
PAY AND BENEFITS
Q: You’ve made record profits. Why not share some of that money with the workers?
A: Chevron strives to sustain a competitive pay and benefits package throughout economic cycles, including downturns. For instance, in 2020, several of our peers furloughed employees and froze or reduced pay and benefits. Chevron had negative earnings but did not reduce salaries, benefits, or furlough employees at our California refineries. Chevron has a tradition of success sharing with employees and funds bonus programs in a way that reflects economic conditions. For instance, in 2020 (during challenging economic conditions), Chevron’s bonus was 75% of target payout and 150% of target payout in 2021 (once economic conditions had improved).
Q. What is the pay for USW workers at Chevron Richmond?
A: Chevron manufacturing jobs pay well above the industry average and offer highly competitive benefit packages. Employees represented by the USW in refineries currently earn on average more than $100,000 a year in total remuneration (wages, bonus and benefits). They also have a total benefits program that, as a package, equates to more than 40 percent of annual base salary. In addition, the company offers a highly competitive bonus program that assists in rewarding our employees for the company’s performance.
Our offer aligns with USW pattern bargaining that has already been implemented at three other Bay Area refineries. While national pattern bargaining outlines an agreed upon framework for cumulative wage increases of 12.55% over 4 years, it does not mean that all USW wages are the same throughout the country. USW wages in Richmond are unique to our region and in alignment with local market competitive data. Our analysis confirms Chevron’s pay and benefits package remains competitive in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Q: Did Chevron raise healthcare costs for employees?
A: Chevron offers a comprehensive healthcare package for U.S. employees that includes an aspect of cost sharing of about 20 percent for employees (while the company pays 80 percent). The United States healthcare costs have been on the rise, and Chevron routinely works with our insurance providers to try and manage the cost of our coverage options. Chevron offers a comprehensive benefit package which includes various options for medical coverage. This past year, the cost of some of Chevron’s California medical coverage options decreased, while the Kaiser Permanente coverage option increased. We remain committed to contributing approximately 80 percent of these premiums, which results in Chevron’s investment in our employee’s healthcare also increasing to maintain the share of healthcare costs at the 80 percent level.
Q: Why aren’t wage increases equal to inflation rates?
A: Rising inflation is challenging for both employers and employees. Attracting and retaining high-caliber employees is important to Chevron. Therefore, at Chevron, our focus is not just on annual salary, but on the competitiveness of our entire compensation and benefits package. While the hope is that this inflation cycle is short-lived, Chevron considers inflation in reviewing compensation programs and conducts regular market reviews to affirm our package’s competitiveness.
Q: What does a typical USW package include?
A: Chevron's Manufacturing jobs pay well above industry average. Our analysis confirms Chevron’s pay and benefits package remains competitive in the San Francisco Bay Area. A typical annual package for a USW fully qualified process operator is outlined in this fact sheet.
Q: How does Chevron Richmond USW pay compare to workers in other industries?
Chevron Richmond’s salaries are designed to be competitive in the Bay Area market. The U.S. Department of Labor data on average industry wages demonstrates that Chevron Richmond has consistently offered our USW employees some of the highest wages in industry. With average benefits packages exceeding $100,000 and $49 per hour, Chevron Richmond USW employees make 49.2 percent above the Bureau of Labor Statistics Seven Industry Average as outlined in this chart.
Q: How does Chevron prepare for a strike?
A: While employees have a right to strike in an effort to achieve certain objectives, Chevron also has a right, as well as the responsibility, to its employees, customers and shareholders, to continue its operations. While our goal is to negotiate in good faith towards an agreement, we need to be prepared for a potential strike. Therefore, current and former Chevron Richmond employees trained for what are called Contingency roles.
Q: What about USW Local 5’s assertion that the Contingency Crew isn’t qualified to run the facility?
A: Our current workforce has satisfied necessary requirements to perform their roles (including on-the-job training) so that we can operate safely, reliably, and in compliance with applicable laws. Most of the workforce are current or recent Chevron Richmond employees, and we could soon be joined by more Chevron colleagues with experience operating other complex facilities in our system who will be similarly trained. We are committed to operating safely and reliably and protecting the safety and health of people and the environment.
Q: Is Chevron bringing in outsiders to run the refinery?
A: If we need people to supplement our trained contingency workforce, we could pursue bringing in temporary contract operators. These workers would be trained to the same levels and have similar experience as our Contingency teams.