About 200 workers at the Marathon Petroleum refinery in St. Paul Park are on strike after overwhelmingly rejecting a contract they say would lead to a loss of union jobs.
A three-year contract between Teamsters Local 120 and Marathon expired Dec. 31, though union and management kept negotiating in January.
On Thursday, the union voted 167-4 to reject the company's "last offer," said Scott Kroona, a business agent for Local 120. Workers went on strike following the vote.
"Marathon basically wants to gut the contract," Kroona said. "The biggest problem is the subcontracting of jobs. Marathon wants to subcontract good union jobs to outstate contractors whose workers are clearly less skilled and qualified."
The outsourcing would lead to 40 job losses for Teamsters in both maintenance and production positions, Kroona said.
The refinery, the prime gasoline supplier to Speedway stations in the Twin Cities, is continuing to operate.
"We safely assumed operation of the refinery with trained and qualified personnel," Marathon said in a statement. "We do not anticipate supply disruptions in Minnesota or the Midwest region, including at our Speedway stations, and we expect to continue meeting all of our customer commitments."
The company declined to comment on subcontracting issues.
Kroona said the union and the company are slated to meet Monday; there already have been 22 negotiating sessions.
Marathon's St. Paul Park refinery has a production capacity of about 100,000 barrels of oil per day, about a third the size of the Flint Hills Resources oil refinery in Rosemount.
Findlay, Ohio-based Marathon bought the refinery in 2018. The St. Paul Park property was part of Marathon's $23 billion buyout of San Antonio-based Andeavor.
Marathon Petroleum's corporate predecessor, Marathon Oil, co-owned or owned the St. Paul Park refinery from 1997 to 2010.
Kroona said the Teamsters union earlier this month filed two complaints against Marathon to the National Labor Relations Board, including for bargaining in bad faith.
Mike Hughlett • 612-673-7003