On February 5, the NLRB announced its approval of an $8.08-plus million deal between Tesoro Refining and Marketing and the United Steelworkers. The money will go to 769 employees at Tesoro’s Carson, California, and Anacortes, Washington, facilities who joined in the winter 2015 refinery strike—the largest refinery strike in 35 years. Under the bilateral agreement, the company will also post a notice for employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. The CBAs at both Tesoro facilities expired in February 2015. Workers at the Carson, Anacortes, and other facilities across the country went on a strike that continued into late March when a new contract was reached. Employees at the Carson and Anacortes facilities returned to work. No bonus for strikers. The story didn’t end there, however. On March 6th, Tesoro gave out bonuses for the previous year to non-unit and non-striking employees, but it withheld bonuses from striking employees, purportedly because they were ineligible to receive the bonuses under the parties' Memorandum of Understanding. The annual incentive bonuses were based upon performance and profits during the previous calendar year. Union files charges. The United Steelworkers then filed charges at 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 the failure to pay them was an unlawful modification of the parties’ contract. The NLRB issued a complaint in both cases. Charges resolved. The parties thereafter reached a settlement agreement to resolve the charges under which workers will receive all of the bonuses they were eligible for under their contract. That means that Tesoro will pay more than $8.08 million to 769 employees at its Carson and Anacortes facilities who engaged in the strike. The company will also post a notice for employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. Tesoro, however, does not admit to any NLRA violations by entering the agreement.
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