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At L.A. oil refinery, striking workers vent about long hours and stress
At L.A. oil refinery, striking workers vent about long hours and stress

Hanz Zalamea got used to leaving work grumpy and dazed, like a college student after an all-nighter. Before going on strike from the Carson portion of Tesoro Corp.'s Los Angeles oil refinery — one of 15 striking plants nationwide — he often worked several straight 12-hour graveyard shifts in the hydrocracker unit. He monitored machines handling temperatures many times hotter than boiling water and equipment applying more than 1,000 pounds of pressure. Zalamea, 38, regularly left about 5:30 a.m., not long before he had to drive his young children to school. "It's depressing," he said. "Sometimes I don't feel like I'm all there." ...

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