MN labor movement rallies in support of locked out Marathon refinery workers
St. Paul Park, MN – On February 4, with wind chill readings below zero, members of a wide collection of unions gathered for an evening rally at the Marathon Refinery picket line, where Teamsters who work at the refinery have been locked out for two weeks after a 24-hour strike.
Union leaders took to the stage and spoke in solidarity with the locked out workers, including several leaders from Teamsters 120, which represents the refinery workers, along with speakers from the Minnesota Nurses Association, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, Laborers Local 563, The Awood Center, AFSCME Local 3800, UFCW 1189 and others. Members of Minnesota Workers United were among the rally participants.
Cherrene Horazuk, president of AFSCME 3800, which represents clerical workers at the University of Minnesota, said, “The pandemic has laid bare the corporate greed for all to see. Workers are risking their lives while the big companies are raking in profits, showing no concern for worker safety, especially if they can turn a faster buck. But when workers stand together, they have power to turn things around. We’ve seen that with healthcare and education workers especially demanding safe workplaces. And Teamsters 120 members are setting an example for the labor movement as a whole that, when we stand together and fight back, we will win and we will make sure workers are safe on the job.”
The cold temperatures and blustery winds did not stop hundreds of union members and supporters from showing up to the rally and has not stopped the Teamsters 120 members from keeping their picket lines strong. The Teamsters 120 members say they are fighting to keep the community safe and avoid accidents like the explosion at the Husky Refinery in 2018 that caused an evacuation in the city of Superior, Wisconsin.