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Workers will return to work at Marathon refinery

July 05/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Unionized workers will return to work at a Minnesota refinery after reaching a six-year contract agreement with Marathon Petroleum that ends a months-long work stoppage, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Teamsters Local 120 in St. Paul Park, Minnesota, approved a revised contract offer from Marathon Petroleum after fighting proposals that could have cut jobs and subcontracted maintenance work. The local, which represents nearly 200 jobs, will return to work at Marathon's 104,000 barrel-per-day refinery on July 6, ending a stoppage that began in January.

The company is the second-largest independent U.S. refiner behind Valero, with plants in Illinois, Minnesota, and other states. Marathon had brought in out-of-state workers to operate the facility while the workers were locked out.

The revised agreement does not address all of the union's concerns, and the Teamsters will continue to advocate for refinery safety through its grievance process and legislatively through policy change, according to business manager Scott Kroona.

He said a major factor in the union's decision was the inclusion of language in a state public safety bill requiring Minnesota refineries to maintain a full-time paid fire department to respond to emergency situations. "The ratified contract focuses on safety, the continuous improvement of our refinery, fair wage increases for our employees, and contracts out only one, non-safety sensitive job," a Marathon spokesperson said.

Union workers repeatedly argued that Marathon's proposals jeopardized safety, and various members accused the company of fostering an unsafe work environment at the refinery, which Marathon denied. read more. The Teamsters and Minnesota building trades pushed for a bill requiring state refinery workers to undergo training similar to a union apprenticeship. Legislators stripped out that provision from a state jobs bill last month.

As MRC informed earlier, Marathon Petroleum shut down a catalytic cracking unit in Galveston Bay on 18 June for scheduled maintenance. Maintenance at the 250,000 tonnes of propylene per year cat cracking unit will continue for 14 days.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 744,130 tonnes in the first four month of 2021, up by 4% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. At the same time, PP deliveries to the Russian market were 523,900 tonnes in January-April 2021, up by 55% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas shipments of PP random copolymers decreased.

Marathon Petroleum was founded in 2005 as the oil transportation, refining and marketing division of Marathon Oil. In 2011, the division became completely independent from the parent company.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, PP, PE, neftegaz, petrochemistry, Marathon, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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