After more than two and a half months of striking, refinery maintenance and utility workers have stopped picketing outside HydroChemPSC in Hammond in the hopes of getting closer to reaching an agreement.

About 30 workers who do industrial cleaning and operate hydro-excavators at the BP Whiting Refinery went on strike on July 15 to protest "unfair labor practices of retaliation and discrimination against union supporters."

The refinery maintenance and utility workers say they have faced punishment after recently joining the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, AFL-CIO, which represents 23,000 workers in construction, construction material production, public works, concrete pumping, steel mill service and slag production in Indiana, Illinois and Iowa.