Thursday, July 26, 2012

In their own words: The men who saved the refineries

We paid another visit to "the lower end" and the “Miracle in Trainer" last night.

We took our live-stream Internet broadcast, 'Live From the Newsroom,' to the United Steelworkers hall in Linwood to talk to union officials who were integral in the talks that led to saving hundreds of union refinery jobs.

If you missed the show, you can catch the replay here.

Our thanks to Jim Savage, Denis Stephano and Dave Miller.

Jim Savage, head of Local 10-1 of the United Steelworkers, represents workers at Sunoco's South Philadelphia refinery. He talked about the difference in the tone of talks with the company once Brian MacDonald took over from former CEO Lynn Elsenhans.

Stephano, the head of United Steelworkers Local 10-324, detailed how all his union members who were thrown out of work when ConocoPhillips shut down their Trainer refinery are now walking back through those very same gates after the sale of the facility to Delta Air Lines. It is being run by Delta subsidiary Monroe Energy.

Stephano pointed the same is not true for managers at the former Conoco plant. He admitted that Monroe is running as a 'leaner' facility and that in some instances they brought in their own managers.

It was left to Dave Miller to update the situation at Sunoco's iconic Marcus Hook refinery. The news is not good. It does not appear that the site will wind up being used as a refinery. It's more likely it will wind up as one of seven optinos laid out in a recent study commissioned by County council. Unfortunately, none of those options would equate to the number of people Sunoco emplyed.

All three were quick to point out the number of people who were involved in these negotiations, offering thanks to the region's politicians for keeping the heat on, and to Gov. Corbett, who in each instance came through with state funds to make the deals happen.

We offer our thanks to these three guys. They were out front on what was clearly the biggest issue in Delaware County. So far they have gone 2-for-3 and they're still working on the third.

In baseball they pay you millions of dollars for that kind of record.

They'll settle for solid, middle-class jobs, and saving a way of life in the lower end of Delaware County,

The county owes them a debt of gratitude.

Thanks, guys.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Corbett would push for a right to work state, and eliminate the regulations, the refineries and other businesses would have a chance to stay.

July 26, 2012 at 7:52 AM 

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