The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

API, labor sign historic jobs promotion agreement

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted June 17, 2009

Today, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and labor unions announced the historic creation of the Oil and Natural Gas Industry Labor-Management Committee, which will work to preserve and create jobs by promoting domestic oil and natural gas production. Currently, the industry employs more than 1.8 million American workers and supports another 4 million workers.

Central to the committee's efforts is the creation of jobs across a broad spectrum of the oil and natural gas industry, including construction and permanent jobs in the upstream and downstream sectors, such as exploration and production, transportation, pipelines and refineries.

Among the committee's activities will be an effort to identify areas of skills training needed in the construction and maintenance side of the industry. The committee also plans to provide information about legislation that would affect the exploration and processing of oil and natural gas, encourage job growth, promote workforce development, encourage energy security, and rationally address climate change.

API President and CEO Jack Gerard, AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department President Mark H. Ayers, and United Brotherhood of Carpenters General President Douglas J. McCarron--together with 15 union presidents and three industry CEOs--signed today's agreement. "This represents an historic opportunity to work together to promote job growth and advance the economic future of America," Gerard said.

"This committee will be at the forefront of the economic development of the oil and natural gas industry." Ayers added, "A pillar of the domestic workforce is skilled industrial labor. The committee will support policies that protect and promote job security and growth in the oil and natural gas industry."

J. Larry Nichols, API chairman and chairman and chief executive officer of Devon Energy Corp., Clarence P. Cazalot Jr., the president and chief executive officer of Marathon, and Michael J. Dolan, senior vice president of Exxon Mobil Corp., also participated in the signing ceremony. Today's signing is the first time that the oil and natural gas industry and its labor unions have agreed to work together formally through a labor-management committee.

The group includes representatives of the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, the International Union of Operating Engineers, and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, as well as CEOs representing oil and natural gas companies and the American Petroleum Institute.

Participating organizations include: