Tesoro operates six oil refineries and more than 1,200 gas stations in the United States.
In April 2010, a deadly explosion at Tesoro’s Anacortes refinery in Washington resulted in the deaths of seven employees. After investigating the explosion, state safety officials imposed a $2.4 million fine, the largest for worker safety violations in Washington state history. Regulators said the accident was preventable and resulted from willful violations of safety law. The plant has had a history of safety lapses, having been cited for 17 serious workplace safety violations in 2010.
Last year, Tesoro unilaterally reduced negotiated retirement and health care benefits during the term of an existing contract. The United Steelworkers union filed National Labor Relations Board charges, a hearing was held and a decision is pending. Workers at four of the company’s refineries where negotiations for a new contract are underway have authorized a strike if the issue of unilateral benefit changes remains unresolved.
In 2011, Tesoro reported $905 million in pre-tax profits and recorded $94 million in current taxes, giving the company an effective tax rate of just 10.3%.
Tesoro’s CEO Gregory Goff received total compensation of $8.8 million in 2011, according to the company’s proxy statement, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Scott Klinger is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.