Public Resource
What Happens to the Workers When Oil Refineries Close?
Labor Network for Sustainability
There are ways to mitigate the harmful effects of job loss when fossil fuel workers lose their jobs. On October 30, 2020, the Marathon oil refinery in Contra Costa County, California, was permanently shut down and 345 unionized workers laid off. 74% of former Marathon workers (excluding retirees) had found new jobs. Nearly one in five (19%) were not employed but actively searching for work. Their unemployment rate was 22.5% Their jobs paid $12 per hour less than their Marathon jobs, a 24% cut in pay. Here are ways support displaced workers, including: extended cash payments to maintain pre-layoff income levels; financial support to cover the 24% average gap in workers’ pre-layoff wages and their post-layoff wages; bridge-to-retirement funding that provides full retirement benefits to workers eligible for early retirement within one year following layoff.