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Published April 05, 2012, 10:19 AM

Mandan oil refinery workers prepared to strike

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) — Union workers at the Tesoro oil refinery at Mandan are prepared to go on strike if contract negotiations continue to stall.

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) — Union workers at the Tesoro oil refinery at Mandan are prepared to go on strike if contract negotiations continue to stall.

Members of the United Steelworkers approved a strike authorization on Wednesday, though they have not called for a strike. Local union president Javier Montoya says the authorization will allow the union employees to stop work if it's deemed necessary.

An administrative law judge with the National Labor Relations Board ruled earlier this year that Tesoro should have bargained with the union before cutting pensions and benefits last year, and ordered Tesoro to bargain. Tesoro has appealed that decision.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that the 150 union workers make up about 60 percent of the work force at North Dakota's lone oil refinery.

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