BLAINE, Minn., Jan. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 200 workers at Marathon's St. Paul Park refinery went on strike this afternoon over unfair labor practices and workplace safety. The workers, represented by Teamsters Local 120, say the company has refused to bargain in good faith, and continues to make demands that place both workers and the community at risk.
Teamsters Local 120 Business Agent Scott Kroona says the company is demanding operational changes that create major safety concerns, and refusing to bargain over the impacts of those changes: "Marathon wants to use lowest bidder subcontractors for jobs that are safety sensitive. They want to add more workload to already overloaded positions. That's just to name a couple of their demands. Especially after the refinery explosion in Superior, Wisconsin a few years ago, we aren't willing to take that risk."
In April 2018, an explosion rocked the Husky refinery in Superior, Wisconsin leading to worker injuries and residential evacuations in the city. Husky was sued by contractors who were working in the refinery at the time.
Local 120 President Tom Erickson says the workers are sending a message not just for themselves but for the entire community: "These are some of the most dangerous jobs you can have. Mistakes are literally life and death, not just for workers but for people in the community and the enviornment. Our members won't stand for it."
Teamsters Local 120 covers large portions of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa and is dedicated to fighting for increased rights for workers and communities.
Scott Kroona, (612) 963-2544
SOURCE Teamsters Local 120