LIUNA Minnesota Letter of Support for a Fair Contract for Teamsters Employed at St. Paul Park Refinery

Photo: Marathon Petroleum
Jan 13 2021

Tom Erickson, President
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 120
9422 Ulysses Street NE, Suite 120
Blaine, MN 55434

Dear Brother Erickson,

On behalf of the more than 12,000 skilled men and women of LIUNA Minnesota and North Dakota, I write to support your efforts to secure a fair contract that protects the livelihood of Teamsters employed at the St. Paul Park refinery, not to mention the well being of neighboring communities that rely on your members’ skill and commitment to ensure the facility’s safe operation. The St. Paul Park refinery has provided high-quality employment opportunities to generations of local workers through multiple changes of ownership, including not only the Teamsters that operate the plant, but also Building Trades members that built and maintained it.

Unfortunately, current owner Marathon Petroleum has apparently put profits ahead of people since the company took over control of the facility in 2019, resulting in the replacement of dozens of LIUNA members who served loyally for up to two decades with what is apparently a largely out-of-state workforce. Local union workers were removed from Marathon’s refinery in Mandan, North Dakota and evidently replaced with out-of-state workers around the same time, suggesting that the moves are not an accident, but instead part of a corporate strategy.

Teamsters working at St. Paul Park may be the last line of defense against a safety incident that could endanger workers or surrounding communities, since so many skilled local tradespeople have been removed from the facility. These outsourcing practices could end up costing local communities tens of millions of dollars in lost economic activity. We thank you for your commitment to fight any further attempts to outsource work or lower standards at the refinery, and we will do what we can to support your efforts.

We urge Marathon to reconsider its current approach to staffing at St. Paul Park, and to negotiate a fair agreement with Teamsters Local 120 that will help to ensure the facility’s safe and efficient operation. Marathon has a chance to stand by the members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, LIUNA, the International Union of Operating Engineers, and other unions that have stood with Marathon, not only at the company’s refineries, but also on pipeline projects that would not have been completed but for union members’ hard work.

In Solidarity,

Joel Smith
President and Business Manager
LIUNA Minnesota and North Dakota