August 23, 2012 – As experienced Labor Law attorneys, Debra A. Jensen and Michael W. McGurrin of Galfand Berger have represented workers in countless labor disputes. When they entered recent contract negotiations representing oil refinery workers and members of United Steelworkers Local 10-1 in Marcus Hook, PA, however, they experienced something that might surprise and encourage even the most seasoned negotiators. The union officials and corporate executives conducting the negotiations actively shared a common goal and worked hard to achieve that goal: to keep the refinery open, maintain wages and save hundreds of jobs.
Last year, Sunoco Oil Refinery announced that it was going to idle its Philadelphia Refinery if the facility was not sold by this summer. Closure of the Sunoco facility would affect thousands of people: Sunoco employees and the local businesses in Marcus Hook, PA and beyond. Home heating oil supplies in the Northeast part of our county would be reduced as Pennsylvania’s manufacturing jobs were hard hit.
Working as part of a regional group of representatives attempting to find an alternative to closing the refinery, USW Local 10-1’s leaders played a pivotal role in the fight for jobs. And in July, Philadelphia Energy Solutions announced a joint venture that would keep the refinery open, save 850 jobs and create thousands more. Debra Jensen and Michael McGurrin served as legal counsel for Local 10-1 and represented the union during the critical contract negotiations.
Successful negotiations don’t come easily and these negotiations were no different. But, because of the union’s hard work and advance planning, the end result exceeded everyone’s expectations. Philadelphia Energy Solutions and USW Local 10-1 will begin an exciting chapter with the knowledge that their efforts saved the refinery and livelihoods of working men and women. Debra and Mike are proud to have been part of his effort, helping secure a fair contract and optimistic future for Local 10-1.
The Philadelphia Labor Lawyers at Galfand Berger have represented labor unions in Pennsylvania for over 65 years. Our firm practices in all areas of Labor Law including contract negotiations, Board charges, grievance handling and arbitrations. If you have a Labor Law issue, call us at 1-800-222-8792 or contact us online. We are conveniently located in center city Philadelphia, Bethlehem and Reading, Pennsylvania and in Burlington, New Jersey.