City Council: Marathon not employing enough Detroiters

City Council: Marathon not employing enough Detroiters at refinery

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DETROIT (WJBK) -

After discussing the emissions of the Marathon Detroit oil refinery, City Council and Marathon representatives have agreed to work together to get more Detroiters in training programs and employed at the refinery.

Those who live near the refinery continue to call for change, especially after the explosion and fire last April.

Marathon representatives admitted the refinery's emissions have, at times, been higher than permitted, but say the refinery is making progress. One representative said emissions has reduced by more than 76 percent since 1999.

A permit hearing is scheduled for next week. Marathon wants permission to increase some emissions while lowering others.

Emissions and the environment were not the only issue at the table Thursday. City Council says they gave Marathon millions in tax abatements but Marathon has not kept their end of the deal by employing more Detroit residents.

Marathon's 2.2 billion dollar refinery expansion was given a 100 percent personal property tax exemption for 23 years. The deal is saving 175 million dollars in exchange for hiring Detroiters. Marathon says it complied with the agreement to hire Detroiters during expansion of the refinery, but admits to only having 30 employees from Detroit out of 520.

Council members don't like that average.

"I want you to live up to the agreement that you came to this table and said that you would live up to, and the agreement that you said you would hire Detroit residents. That's all I'm asking," said Council President Brenda Jones.

Council and Marathon agreed to work together to get more Detroiters in training programs and employed at the refinery.

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