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Teamsters at Marathon Refinery accept new contract offer, ending 6-month lockout

By staff |
July 2, 2021
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St. Paul Park, MN - On July 1, in Saint Paul Park, Minnesota, Teamsters who work for Marathon Refinery voted to accept a new contract offer from management, which will end a lockout that has been ongoing for more than six months.

The Teamsters had gone on a one-day strike in January over safety at the refinery and as a result were locked out by the employer ever since. Throughout the six months, energy on the picket lines remained strong, and rallies were held bringing out many unions and community members is support of the workers’ fight. Throughout the strike and lockout, the union highlighted grave dangers to much of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area in the case of the type of disaster which they were fighting for safety measures to prevent.

In recent weeks, the union members voted to overwhelmingly reject an offer from Marathon management that did not address enough of the key issues for the workers to be willing to vote yes to accept it.

Now their commitment to this fight has paid off and management moved off of that offer and came back with a new offer in which they moved on some of the sticking points, and the union members voted to accept the new offer and ratify the contract.

One major win in the new contract is language that significantly limits the company’s ability to subcontract work traditionally done by the permanent maintenance personnel. The union cites training and experience as a real reason that subcontracting would pose a danger to the lives of the workers and community.

Teamsters Local 120 Business Agent Scott Kroona said, “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.”