By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Nearly 200 workers at Marathon Petroleum’s St. Paul Park oil refinery went on strike Thursday afternoon.

The workers union, Teamsters Local 120, says the strike is over unfair labor practices and workplace safety. The union says Marathon has refused to bargain in good faith, and is making unsafe demands.

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“Marathon wants to use lowest bidder subcontractors for jobs that are safety sensitive. They want to add more workload to already overloaded positions. That’s just to name a couple of their demands. Especially after the refinery explosion in Superior, Wisconsin a few years ago, we aren’t willing to take those risks,” Teamsters Local 120 Business Agent Scott Kroona said.

In a statement, Marathon said it “safely assumed operation of the refinery with trained and qualified personnel” Thursday after learning about the strike plans. Here’s the full statement.

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“Marathon Petroleum was notified late yesterday afternoon that the Teamsters-represented employees at our St. Paul Park refinery intended to strike that evening. We safely assumed operation of the refinery with trained and qualified personnel. Our comprehensive contingency planning has prepared us to continue safely operating the facility, including maintaining our vigilant focus on compliance, reliability and care for the environment.

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.”

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