Hundreds of union steelworkers rallied at two local refineries Saturday in support of 5,200 steelworkers on strike, or about to strike, at 11 refineries and chemical plants in California, Kentucky, Texas, Washington, Indiana, and Ohio.
On Saturday morning, about 150 members of the United Steelworkers union, led by Local 10-234, met at the union hall in Trainer and marched to the Monroe Energy refinery for a rally, said the local's president, Denis J. Stephano.
In the afternoon, approximately 100 workers, led by Local 10-1, rallied at the Passyunk Avenue entrance to the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in South Philadelphia.
Workers are not on strike at either area plant.
Steelworkers are negotiating a national model contract with one company. That contract will form the basis for the rest of the contracts along with local issues bargained at each plant.
Local issue negotiations began last week at the Trainer plant, Stephano said, describing the talks as cordial. The Trainer contract expires March 1. Philadelphia Energy Solution's contract expires in September.
"We're just out showing our support," said Jim Savage, president of Local 10-1 and a member of the national bargaining committee. Management and labor relations at both local plants have generally been good, both union leaders said.
Nationally, Savage said, members are concerned about forced overtime, staffing levels, healthcare and training.
The strikes began Feb. 1.