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    Refinery Strike Imminent in Louisiana

    Conoco says it would run Lake Charles plant in event of strike.

    LAKE CHARLES, La. -- Conoco Inc. said Thursday it has plans to run its 240,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Lake Charles, La., at normal rates in the event of a labor strike following failed contract negotiations with the workers union.

    "We have a contingency plan in place that will allow us to run the refinery as normal," refinery spokesman Lynn Hohensee said in a statement, adding that Conoco would bring in technically trained supervisory staff familiar with refining operations.

    Refinery workers union at the Conoco plant yesterday gave Conoco 24-hour strike notice following a breakdown of contract talks, a union official said.

    "If there is no contract, the workers will go on strike tomorrow," said PACE union spokeswoman Lynne Baker. "The management has decided there is no use talking any further and that the union must do what it will do."

    The union voted down a tentative contract agreement for the 578 union workers at the refinery on Wednesday by a margin of three to one, Baker said.

    ABOVE: Conoco's Lake Charles refinery.

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