Get the latest industry updates in this week's gas and oil mining news.

Union workers at four refineries in Texas went on strike Feb. 1 after their contracts expired at midnight.

Employees at the Shell’s Deer Park refinery, LyondellBasell’s Houston refinery, Marathon Galveston Bay Refinery and South Houston Green Power say they won’t return to work until the companies and the industry address their issues.

They say the industry is making unreasonable demands at the bargaining table. United Steel Workers District 13 say their biggest issues are health and safety, health insurance premiums and co-pays, and stopping the hiring of contractors who are taking union worker jobs.

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The union says it is also concerned about members being fatigued from working long hours and not getting enough rest.

Shell Oil is representing the industry in the labor talks.

The strike marks the first large-scale oil worker walkout since 1980, when a strike lasted three months. At that time 100 refineries were affected throughout the nation. This time just nine refineries are affected, but they will continue to operate during the strike.

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Energy Players Want North Dakota to Ease Waste Laws

Energy industry players in North Dakota want state officials to alter radioactive waste disposal laws so more fracking fluid can be stored in-state. The measure would save companies thousands of dollars per truckload, according to a story by Reuters.

Currently radioactive waste is being sent outside North Dakota due to rules that bar state landfills from accepting more than a minor amount of radiation.

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Reuters reports that fracking in the Bakken Shale is believed to have produced between 27 and 70 tons of radioactive waste per day in 2014.

The most common form of radioactive waste in the state is a filter sock — a mesh tube through which fracking wastewater is shot before it is injected back into the ground.

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