Union Workers at La Gloria Prepare For Possible Strike

A possible strike coming soon for more than 100 workers at an East Texas refinery.  Union members at La Gloria Oil and Gas Company said they face dangerous work conditions and low wages.
  Members voted to possibly go on strike in 2 weeks if a new contract agreemement could not be reached with La Gloria's parent company.
  "We feel not only are there benefits being taken away from employees, but we also have safety concerns with the plant," said PACE Local Union 4-202 President Sue Robertson. "The company is refusing to hire so we have short staffing which is causing employees to work extended hours.           (There are a) lack of repairs and maintenance in units. They're not spending the money like they used to, to properly repair units."
  Union members are also upset La Gloria has made cuts to retirees' insurance and pension plans.
  "We were disappointed because the last 4 days that we met with the company they said they were too busy to even respond to what we'd asked them to respond to," said Robertson.
  In a statement to KLTV, a company representative said, "La Gloria is currently in negotiations with PACE Local 4-202 to renew the existing contract. It is our hope that we will reach an agreement."
  Union members say they were told the company will bring in contract workers to replace the members who possibly go on strike. They are concerned those workers could be a safety threat because of a lack of experience.
  "They are doing training right now to take over our jobs," said Robertson. "But they've only been training for 5 weeks a couple of hours a day. Whereas we're required a minimum of 5 years to be qualified."
  Qualified or not, the day of the possible strike is approaching and union members have 2 weeks before they decide to walk. The current work contract expires on August 1st.

Story  by Maya Golden, mgolden@kltv.com