Union ends strike at Husky's Ohio oil refinery

Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:14am EDT

* USW sets no condition for resuming work

* Company had announced plans to hire replacement workers

* USW rejected contract offer Sunday

HOUSTON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Members of United Steelworkers union (USW) Local 624 ended a four-month strike at Husky Energy Inc.'s 155,000 barrel per day (bpd) Lima, Ohio refinery late on Thursday night, just hours after the company began a search for replacement workers.

The refinery has continued to operate without interruption during the strike.

"Effective immediately, the Steelworkers International Union and its affiliated local union 624 hereby end their strike and, as the exclusive bargaining representative of all bargaining unit members, make an unconditional offer to return to work immediately on behalf of all bargaining unit members who have not already returned to work," the union said in a statement.

A Husky representative was not immediately available to discuss union's offer.

The Lima News said on Thursday that the company had begun a search for temporary workers at the refinery, who would be offered permanent employment as soon as the National Labor Relations Board rules on charges brought by the union against Husky.

Striking workers had voted on Sunday to reject the company's latest contract offer and on Monday management declared an impasse in negotiations, a necessary step before the company could impose a unilateral settlement.

The 230 USW workers began the strike on May 25, alleging that Husky management had failed to negotiate in good faith for a contract to replace the one that expired on April 14.

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