St. Paul Park union approves Marathon contract, ending work stoppage


A Marathon Petroleum banner outside the El Paso refinery in El Paso, Texas, USA on October 1, 2018. REUTERS / Julio-Cesar Chavez / File Photo

July 1 (Reuters) – Unionized workers will return to work at a Minnesota refinery next week after reaching a six-year contractual deal with Marathon Petroleum that ends a multi-month work stoppage, the union said Thursday.

Teamsters Local 120 in St. Paul Park, Minnesota, approved a revised contract offer from Marathon Petroleum after fighting proposals that could have cut jobs and outsourced maintenance work.

The local, which represents nearly 200 jobs, will resume work at Marathon’s 104,000 bpd refinery on July 6, ending a shutdown that began in January.

The company is America’s second-largest independent refiner behind Valero, with plants in Illinois, Minnesota and other states.

Marathon had hired out-of-state workers to operate the facility while the workers were locked out.

The revised deal does not address all of the union’s concerns, and the Teamsters will continue to advocate for refinery safety through their grievance process and legislatively through a policy change, according to the director. commercial Scott Kroona.

He said a major factor in the union’s decision was the inclusion of language in a state public safety bill requiring Minnesota refineries to maintain a full-time, paid fire department. to respond to emergency situations.

“The ratified contract focuses on safety, continuous improvement of our refinery, fair wage increases for our employees and only outsources one non-safety sensitive job,” said a spokesperson for Marathon. .

Unionized workers have repeatedly argued that Marathon’s proposals jeopardized safety, and various members accused the company of fostering an unsafe working environment at the refinery, which Marathon denied. Read more

The Teamsters and Minnesota construction trades lobbied for a bill requiring workers at the state’s refineries to undergo training similar to a union apprenticeship. Lawmakers removed this provision from a state employment bill last month.

Reporting by Laura Sanicola; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Dan Grebler and Bill Berkrot

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