Workers will not be going on strike this weekend at Western Refining's St. Paul Park refinery after a tentative contract agreement was reached between union leaders and management, both sides confirmed Friday afternoon.
Details will not be revealed until Tuesday, when about 185 workers at the refinery in Washington County vote on the agreement, said union spokesman Chris Riley, a business agent for Teamsters Local 120.
"Our goal was to get a deal that was good for our workers and good for the company, and we feel that is what we have done," said Gary Hanson, a spokesman for El Paso-based Western.
Members of Teamsters Local 120 voted unanimously to strike earlier this week when negotiations snagged over safety issues, union leaders said previously. The refinery, which is the main gasoline supplier to SuperAmerica stores, is adding another unit to process oil into petroleum products.
The union had said it believes that at least four positions should be created to operate the new unit, but the company was resisting any staff additions. The refinery's three-year contract expires at midnight Saturday.
On Friday, Riley declined to say whether the company agreed to any concessions, but he noted that the tentative agreement was supported by the full negotiating committee.
"This group typically follows the committee recommendation," Riley said. "We're expecting a good turnout and a good vote."
Riley said workers were "glad to avoid a strike."
Last month, San Antonio-based Tesoro Corp. announced it would pay $4.1 billion for Western, which also has refineries in Texas and New Mexico. The deal, however, is not finalized.
Hanson said he could not speculate on whether a union vote in favor of the new agreement will make it easier for that transaction to go through.
"We are operating as an independent company — that is what we are focused on right now," Hanson said.