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Forum News Service, Published January 02 2014

Negotiators reach deal; strike at oil refinery averted

ST. PAUL PARK, Minn. - Contract negotiators struck a deal for St. Paul Park oil refinery workers hours before a threatened strike was to begin.

Northern Tier Energy, which owns the refinery, and Teamsters Local 120 reached agreement on a new three-year contract, said Chris Riley, the union’s business manager.

The deal came about 5 p.m. Tuesday. The union had planned to strike Wednesday if there was not a settled contract.

The agreement calls for 3 percent annual raises for the union’s roughly 190 workers, Riley said. It doesn’t include any job or pay cuts that Riley said were part of an earlier company proposal.

“We really didn’t take any concessions,” Riley said.

Union members are expected to vote on the deal next Wednesday.

A Northern Tier Energy spokeswoman could not be reached for comment.

The refinery produces gasoline and diesel fuel and other petroleum-based fuels and products. Northern Tier Energy also owns SuperAmerica gas stations and the SuperMom’s bakery line.

In November, Texas-based Western Refining bought a controlling share of Northern Tier Energy.