By Laura Sanicola
Nov 15 (Reuters) - Union workers at Phillips 66’s 285,000-barrel-per-day Bayway refinery in Linden, New Jersey, ratified a three-year contract on Friday evening, avoiding a strike or lockout at the largest petrochemical complex on the U.S. East Coast.
Some 210 of the 408 union workers who voted approved the agreement, while 198 voted against, according to a union representative from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 877.
The contract also included an across-the-board 11% raise over three years for refinery workers.
The union workers had previously struck down a proposed contract early last month after failing to agree on changes to the contract expanding the tasks and responsibilities of refinery workers, which some union members deem a safety issue.
The new contract calls for refinery operators to learn to run different units of the refinery with some training, according to a union source.
Labor leaders and Phillips 66 had been in on-and-off talks since the expiration of their previous contract at the end of September.
The Bayway refinery is the largest in operation in the U.S. Northeast following a fire and series of explosions in June that led to the closure of the 335,000-bpd Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) facility.
Refining capacity in the region has declined over the years as much of the nation’s refining output now comes out of the U.S. Gulf Coast and Midwest.
A spokesperson for Phillips 66 did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Laura Sanicola; Editing by Sandra Maler & Kim COghill)