Rumors that stalled union contract negotiations at the local refinery will result in a shutdown this week are being denied by Valero officials.


In response to questions by The Ardmoreite, company officials released the following formal press release late Saturday afternoon.


“The Valero-Ardmore Refinery is currently in the process of contract negotiations with its local union. We are continuing to negotiate in good faith, and we’ve agreed with the union to do our negotiating at the table, not in the media. We are hopeful that an agreement can be reached soon. There has been no decision to shut down the refinery, at this time.”


Rumors that stalled union contract negotiations at the local refinery will result in a shutdown this week are being denied by Valero officials.

 

In response to questions by The Ardmoreite, company officials released the following formal press release late Saturday afternoon.

 

“The Valero-Ardmore Refinery is currently in the process of contract negotiations with its local union. We are continuing to negotiate in good faith, and we’ve agreed with the union to do our negotiating at the table, not in the media. We are hopeful that an agreement can be reached soon. There has been no decision to shut down the refinery, at this time.”

 

No official International Union of Operating Engineers, with authorization to speak for the union, have contacted The Ardmoreite concerning the status of the negotiations currently underway. However, others claiming to be union members, but who refused to identify themselves, did contact The Ardmoreite with allegations company officials had threatened a “shutdown” if the union failed to accept concessions demanded by the corporation.

 

Concerned citizens also began calling The Ardmoreite as the rumors spread throughout the community Friday night.

 

The term “shutdown” does not mean closure, according to sources close to the situation. A shutdown would be a suspension of operations for a temporary period of time if negotiators fail to reach an agreement before the April 30 deadline.

 

Bill Day, Valero Corporate Communications, told The Ardmoreite in a telephone interview Saturday that while he could not discuss the current negotiations, a shutdown request was not unusual.

 

“What I can say is that it’s not unusual. It’s routine and not specific to Ardmore — it’s a pretty standard procedure, and last time negotiations were going on in Ardmore it was included. We don’t want workers to walk off the site when the refinery is in operation. What we ask is for an orderly shutdown. It’s a safety reason. So it would not be unusual if it would be part of the negotiations this time around,” Day said.