ST. PAUL PARK, Minn. — Teamsters Local 120 members, locked out by Marathon Petroleum here for over five months, voted June 21 on what bosses say is their “last, best and final contract offer.”
“The contract was overwhelmingly rejected,” Teamsters business agent Scott Kroona told the Militant.
Kroona reported most workers say they aren’t going back until the company hires back workers who were fired when they went on a one-day strike Jan. 21, the day before the company locked them out.
On June 14 the union had presented a new offer to the company that the bosses summarily rejected.
Some 200 Teamster members have been fighting for safer working conditions and against job combinations and company demands to bring in more nonunion contract workers. Marathon Petroleum is the largest oil refinery company in the country.
The strikers have been getting widespread solidarity and interest in their fight for safety for themselves and the surrounding community. At the American Legion hall here, an organizing center for the strikers, they made up a display, above, of support messages received.
The union’s new proposal to Marathon Petroleum included agreement to some company demands without compromising on safety, Kroona said. The next day the company rejected the proposal and said it would only agree to its March 1 “last and final offer.”
In response to a union request, Kroona said, the company handed over a 20,000-page document that “was impossible to read.” Upon further request for clarification on blacked-out sections of the document, “the company said it was confidential.”
Meanwhile, Marathon has posted job ads on the Indeed.com website that says, “Marathon Petroleum’s St. Paul Park Refinery has immediate openings for hourly Refinery Operators. … This is a position to permanently replace workers who are currently striking at the St. Paul Park Refinery.”
In recent months workers have been reaching out with informational pickets at Speedway gas stations throughout the region as they’ve faced increasingly onerous restrictions on pickets outside the refinery.
Let these fighting workers know you support them! Send messages of solidarity to Teamsters Local 120, 9422 Ulysses St. NE, Blaine, MN 55434.