To our membership,
From April of 2010 to May of 2010, within our oil industry, there have been 13 fires, 19 deaths and 22 injuries. That is too many. One is too many. We cannot rely or wait on the Government to legislate our safety. We cannot rely on the company to manage our safety, and we cannot wait on our International Union to empower our safety within our refinery. It is up to us to make our workplace safer. It is up to us to ensure that no one comes to work, and doesn't go home. We are the ones who are going to make the difference.
Last week in Pittsburgh, I had the opportunity to hear from some of the workers at the Tesoro refinery where 7 people killed in a refinery incident. Others spoke about the same thing, which was, "it won't happen here." We here at the Ponca City refinery know too well how it is to lose a fellow employee. I don't want to see that happen again.
The company says that is every ones responsibility to stop work that is unsafe. They say that every one has the right to shut down a unit if it honestly appears to be in an unsafe condition. Your union believes it is our responsibility to do these things. We must protect the lives of each other first and foremost! Remember, it is up to us.