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Striking oil workers, Shell to resume talks on Wed - Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The United Steelworkers union, representing 30,000 oil workers in contract talks, will resume negotiations next week with Royal Dutch Shell Plc, prolonging the biggest refinery strike in 35 years.

Shell, negotiating on behalf of employers including Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp, and the union have agreed to meet on March 4, Shell spokesman Ray Fisher said by e-mail on Friday. Lynne Hancock, a USW spokeswoman in Nashville, Tennessee, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The meeting will be the first official one since Feb 20, when talks between the two sides broke down and the union expanded its strike to include the nation's largest refinery. The stalled negotiations have drawn out a national walkout that began Feb 1 at seven refineries and has since widened to include 12. Together, they account for almost 20 per cent of the country's refining capacity.

Fisher said in his statement on Friday that the company and the union will "continue efforts to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement." USW International President Leo Gerard said on Tuesday that a further expansion of the strike will depend on this next round of negotiations.

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