Mandan Tesoro Refinery Workers rally in support of "National Day of Action"

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More than two dozen oil workers rallied outside the gates of the Mandan Tesoro Refinery Saturday afternoon.
The rally was a show of support for oil workers across the country during this "National Day of Action."

"We work in a very volatile industry, so we want to make sure our workforce is rested and and able to do the job properly. Both mentally and physically," said refinery employee Robert Vogel.

But while workers at the Mandan refinery say they've reached tentative contract agreements, workers in other locations across the country are going on strike.

"There's a lot of people retiring. A lot of people leaving. When they bring new people in, it takes a while for those to people to be trained to do their job," said long-time employee Javier Montoya. "So that puts a burden on the guys that have been there for quite a few years."

Work safety as well as fair pay are key issues on the table during contract negotiations.

"We are seeing a lot of forced overtime which we never used to see in the past," said Vogel. "A higher percentage of workers are working overtime--percentage wise-- and our consideration is whether that will lead to health and safety issues."

"We want to work here. We want to have a safe facility. We want to have a good future for our families and the community," said Montoya.

The oil workers rallying are members of the union, United Steelworkers.
The union represents 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and energy-producing industries, as well as workers in the public sector and service occupations.