Strikers Picket Outside 2 Louisiana Oil Refineries

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Union workers have been picketing outside two southeast Louisiana oil refineries as part of a national strike by the United Steelworkers union.

         The strike began at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.
 Times-Picayune’s Andy Grimm reports that strikers marched Sunday outside the Motiva plants in Norco and Convent.

         A half-dozen steelworkers carrying picket signs stood at the entrance to the plant in Norco, drawing some honks of support from passing motorists.

         Steelworkers Local 750 spokesman Brent Petit says union workers at the two Louisiana plants had "overwhelmingly" voted to authorize a strike late last year. He says local leaders expected to be among the first to walk out if talks stalled between the national union and Shell, the lead negotiating company for the oil industry.

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