Petroleum Company Settles with Steelworkers for $8.08M Over Unpaid Bonuses During Strike

Tesoro agreed to pay more than $8.08 million to 769 employees at its Carson, CA and Anacortes, WA facilities who engaged in a strike during the winter of 2015. This amounts to over an average of more than $10,500 per worker.

According to the NLRB’s press release, in March 2015, Tesoro awarded bonuses for the previous year to non-unit and non-striking employees, but withheld such bonuses from striking employees deeming them ineligible to receive bonuses under the parties’ Memorandum of Understanding. These annual incentive bonuses were based upon performance and profits during the previous calendar year.

In response, charges were filed by the Steelworkers against Tesoro with the NLRB in California and Washington alleging that the accrued bonuses were not paid in retaliation for the employees’ strike, and that failure to pay the bonuses was an unlawful modification of the parties’ contract. After the NLRB issued complaint in both cases, parties reached this settlement which will provide workers with 100% of the bonuses that they were eligible for under their contract.

Matt Austin who owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm based in Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can call Matt at (614) 285-5342 or email him at