By Bruce Karnick [email protected] A tumultuous six-month fight has finally ended in St. Paul Park between Marathon Petroleum and the Local 120 Union. By the time this hits newsstands Wednesday, …
By Bruce Karnick
A tumultuous six-month fight has finally ended in St. Paul Park between Marathon Petroleum and the Local 120 Union. By the time this hits newsstands Wednesday, the 120 members will have punched the clock for their first shift since January 21st when this started with, what was supposed to be a few days strike.
The issues discussed were always safety. Safety of the workers and more importantly, safety of the communities. This refinery utilizes some of the most dangerous chemicals known to humankind, hydrofluoric acid. One drop on the skin can kill an adult if not treated rapidly. If hydrofluoric acid becomes airborne and you breathe it, it will be your last breath. The workers at the SPP plant know the dangers of this stuff and want the best possible people working around it.
A press release gave the details of the agreement.
Teamsters Local 120 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 1, 2021 Contact: Josh Levitt, [email protected] com Teamsters Local 120 Votes In Favor of Marathon Petroleum’s Revised Contract Offer ST. PAUL PARK, MN – Today, Teamsters Local 120 members voted in favor of a revised contract offer from Marathon Petroleum. The company’s new offer includes, among other improvements from their previous offer, protections that significantly limit the company’s ability to subcontract work traditionally done by the refinery’s highly trained, safety conscious permanent maintenance personnel. After accepting the company’s contract offer, Teamsters Local 120 members will begin returning to work on Tuesday, July 6.
In response to today’s vote, Teamsters Local 120 Business Agent Scott Kroona issued the following statement: “From the start of the work stoppage, Teamsters Local 120 members made it crystal clear that safety was their top priority. While this new contract addresses some of our concerns, it does not address them all, we will continue our advocacy for a safer refinery through the grievance process in the contract and by advocating legislatively for policies that improve refinery safety at every site in our State. This has been a long battle, with many twists and turns, but we are immensely proud of our members who put their livelihoods on the line to demand better working conditions and protect their community. Teamsters Local 120 members are the best at what they do, and they are eager to get back to work.
“There is nothing more important than the safety of our members and this community. One key item that went into our members’ decision happened at the state capitol this past week. Language is included in the Public Safety Omnibus bill that requires Oil Refineries in the state to maintain a full-time paid fire department to respond to emergency situations on the ground. We are thankful to Rep. Keith Franke and Sen. Karla Bigham for championing this vital refinery safety legislation.
“Teamsters Local 120 is grateful to every member of the Twin Cities community and the labor movement who rallied behind our members both virtually and in-person throughout the duration of the work stoppage. We also want to recognize the elected leaders who raised the voices in support of Teamsters Local 120.”
Senator Karla Bigham, a very vocal supporter of the Union’s efforts to maintain a safe work environment had this to say in her weekly newsletter.
“I’m excited to share the good news that Teamsters Local 120 members voted in favor of a revised contract offer from Marathon Petroleum! The accepted offer will limit Marathon’s capability of hiring unskilled contractors or subcontractors. Even though the Safe and Skilled Worker bill did not pass this year, we are going to continue to fight for its passage next legislative session. I am grateful to Teamsters Local 120 for fighting for what is right. In solidarity!”
For more information on the Teamsters 120, visit www.teamsterslocal120.org