A cloud of toxic hydrofluoric gas with a 19-mile radius. That’s the nightmare scenario for 1.7 million people who live and work in the Twin Cities—a nightmare that’s closer to reality than it needs to be.
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Why are we in danger? Because Marathon Petroleum, owners of the St. Paul Park refinery and Speedway gas stations, cares more about profits than Minnesotans' lives. To save a buck, corporate executives are using unfamiliar, untrained, out-of-state workers without any connection to the community or familiarity of the facility to run the refinery.
We are the workers who have the training, skills, and familiarity to run the Marathon Petroleum refinery. But because we demanded that Marathon use our skilled labor instead of out-of-town contract workers, corporate executives locked us out from our jobs in January. Without us there, our friends, our families, our neighbors, and our entire community is in the chemical burn zone of some of the most dangerous chemicals on the planet.
This is our home, and these are our jobs. We are demanding they bring us back to the refinery and allow us to do our jobs. Lives are at stake. We’re demanding Marathon put us back to work where we can perform the important safety functions that keep our community safe, and sign a contract that limits the use of lower-paid contractors who don’t have the same training, experience or commitment to this community.
The buck stops here. Ray Brooks is the man putting corporate profits over the safety of the Twin Cities. As the Executive Vice President of Refining for Marathon Petroleum Corporation, he is the one ultimately responsible for Marathon’s efforts to cut corners on safety and replace highly-skilled safety professionals from our community with out-of-town contractors who don’t have the same experience or training.