Marathon Strike Update

Posted 6/2/21

[email protected] As of late May, the locked-out workers at the Marathon Petroleum plant in St. Paul Park and Marathon Petroleum have yet to reach any kind of agreement. According to Reuters, an …

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Marathon Strike Update


[email protected]

As of late May, the locked-out workers at the Marathon Petroleum plant in St. Paul Park and Marathon Petroleum have yet to reach any kind of agreement. According to Reuters, an April 29th letter from Marathon Petroleum alleges that the two sides are at an impasse with respect to “non-starter” proposals made by the union and other proposals made in the refiners ‘last, best and final offer’ to the union in March.

A take it or leave it offer made in March, a letter affirming Marathon is not going to back down from their position in April to now opening permanent job positions at the St. Paul Park Refinery in late May shows the resolve of a multi-billion-dollar company.

The announcement that Marathon is going to start hiring has caught the eye of area politicians and they are not happy.

First, from Representative Keith Franke: Dear Ms. Macak, I wanted to express my concern for Marathon Petroleum’s difficult decision to begin hiring new workers at your St. Paul Park refinery. I know we share the mutual disappointment that the conflict between Marathon and the Teamsters is still unresolved, and that all parties find themselves at this juncture. While I know this decision was not made lightly, I worry about the ramifications for the surrounding communities. The refinery is the heart of our community and I fear the consequences for our families, as well as other small businesses, if you permanently replace striking workers with new employees. This action must be only taken as a last resort. It is my sincere hope that Marathon and the Teamsters can return to the negotiating table. It would be to the benefit of all parties that a settlement is reached. I strongly encourage you take action to reach a fair agreement with your workers. The safety and success of the workers at the refinery are of utmost importance for your business and the wider community. I hope Marathon and the Teamsters are able to come together to resolve the issues at hand to avoid any drastic actions.

Senator Karla Bigham’s Response Earlier this year, I shared my concerns regarding the safety of our community as union workers at the refinery in St. Paul Park resolve the status of their labor contract. My concerns have only increased when I read your letter from May 27, 2021, stating that Marathon has started the process of hiring replacement workers. This is deeply concerning and unfortunate.

In your letter, disappointment was expressed because “the Company has lost confidence that there is no resolution in sight.” I am disappointed that the Company continually misses the opportunity to find common ground with skilled employees that keep the refinery productive and safe. Please remember that the labor of your employees contributed to a significant degree toward your company’s $70.2 billion profit last year. Those same workers make our neighborhoods, businesses, and communities strong.

Both of us are privileged to represent St. Paul Park either through public service or through the private sector. I am sure we can agree that we bring nothing to a community if we take actions that jeopardize. the safety of its people.

Marathon does not have to miss another opportunity to come to the table and sit alongside union workers in good faith to come to a fair agreement. Despite my concerns, I remain hopeful that Marathon will take care of their workers. I strongly urge you to return to the negotiation table with the union workers.

The Local 120 Union workers went on strike in January to bring attention to changes from Marathon they felt put themselves and the community at risk. The plan was to strike and return to work. When they returned to work, they found themselves locked out by Marathon.

The number one concern of the Union Members is safety and avoiding a situation like the Husky Plant fire in Superior Wisconsin. Marathon believes the changes they are making will not impact safety, the guys on the front line claim the changes will. Local, State and Federal politicians have all spoke in support of the locked-out workers, yet Marathon is refusing to negotiate in good faith.