Refinery workers strike temporarily averted

From NBC12 News

HOUSTON (AP) - A strike by some 24,000 refinery workers has been averted, at least for now.

Both sides have agreed to extend negotiations for at least 24 hours.

It's a rolling extension that allows the union to give the required one-day notice to strike.

A union spokeswoman says that could still come at any time.

Workers at refineries near New Orleans, Houston and as far away as Montana will show up for scheduled shifts Monday, while negotiators will be back at the table Sunday.

If workers do go on strike, Valero Energy and BP both say they'll shut down some facilities.

Valero is the nation's biggest refiner.

Exxon and Shell say they'll use nonunion or replacement workers to keep things running.

Thursday, union negotiators turned down the most recent offer of a 2.5 percent wage increase for each of the next three years, in addition to changes in medical coverage.

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