Refinery strike over

Published 4:03 pm Saturday, April 4, 2015

The 9-week-old strike at the Catlettsburg refinery of Marathon Petroleum is over.

A majority of the workers from USW Local 8-719 approved a contract offer by Marathon on Friday in a vote of 226 to 153.

Workers will go back to the refinery on Monday to go through testing and start full-time operations on Saturday.

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“We got what we wanted on the national side and part of what we wanted on the local issues,” Dave Martin, vice president of the USW local, said. “We still have things to work on.”

The Catlettsburg local joined a national strike on Feb. 1 and stayed out after that was settled in mid-March.

Major issues, both nationally and locally, were outsourcing and safety of workers.

“We got language that will limit routine maintenance contract,” Martin said.

That will enable more union members to handle the maintenance in-house.

“We got the outsourcing done,” he said. “We need to get more staffing for the guys to get their days off.”

The union will also go back to the alternate schedule, which many members of the union wanted, where they work a 12-hour day and get more days off. The union will also get raises of 2 and 1/2 percent the first year; 3 percent the second; and 3 1/2 the third year.

“I was real proud of our membership through the whole thing,” Martin said. “They gave a lot of support and solidarity. We got a lot of support from other local unions in the area and a lot of support from local businesses in the community.”

Chuck Rice, Marathon spokesman, said the company was pleased the contract was ratified.