SuperMom’s driver lockout over as contract agreement reachedNorthern Tier Energy settled with Teamsters Local 120 Wednesday on a new, two-year labor contract that put 22 delivery drivers back on the job Thursday, the company and union confirmed.
By: Scott Wente and Jon Avise, South Washington County Bulletin
The company that owns SuperMom’s bakery reached a labor agreement with its drivers, ending a nearly week-long lockout.
Northern Tier Energy settled with Teamsters Local 120 Wednesday on a new, two-year labor contract that put 22 delivery drivers back on the job Thursday, the company and union confirmed.
“The labor dispute is over,” Christine Carnicelli, a spokeswoman for Connecticut-based Northern Tier Energy, said Thursday.
The drivers were escorted off the job and told not to report for work at the SuperMom’s St. Paul Park facility Friday, Aug. 24, amid a contract dispute. The union’s three-year contract had expired Aug. 9. The two sides were primarily in disagreement over wages. Union leaders said the last company offer before the lockout called for a wage freeze for some drivers and reduced top-scale wages for others from a ceiling of $20 per hour to $16 per hour.
Carnicelli would not confirm details of the new contract. Teamsters Local 120 President Brad Slawson, Jr., also declined to offer specifics but said the union voted unanimously to accept Northern Tier Energy’s latest offer. Drivers, he said, “are extremely happy” with the outcome.
“The company had modified the final offer to address the needs and concerns that we had,” Slawson said. “I think they made some good movement. They moved far enough that the vote was 100 percent to accept [the offer].”
Northern Tier Energy owns SuperMom’s, SuperAmerica gas stations and convenience stores as well as the St. Paul Park refinery.
There are about 180 Teamster employees at the refinery, Carnicelli said. Their contract expires at the end of 2013.
Carnicelli said the two contracts are entirely separate and that the SuperMom’s contract dispute does not foreshadow problems with the refinery workers’ contract talks next year.
“Let’s hope not,” she said. “These are very different businesses.”
In 2006, the Teamsters went on strike during a contract dispute with then-refinery owner Marathon. Slawson called the six-day lockout “a taste of what may be coming ahead.”
“I think it shows it’s going to be a difficult negotiation,” he said. “But, I don’t think it means, necessarily, that we’ll be going on strike or that there will be a lockout.”