LIMA — Lima City Council approved a resolution Monday night as an official expression of support for the “Ohio Jobs for Ohio Workers” campaign.
The resolution was passed with no opposition from any council members. It is the first statement from council as a whole in support of the labor union advocating for the fall turnaround at the Cenovus Refinery to be locally sourced.
“To all of our union workers, no matter if it’s the refinery or the auto industry, we on the council stand with you,” said Councilman Jamie Dixon. “Thank you for your trades coming into our area and working and being productive citizens in our neighborhoods and our community.”
Council joined a growing list of community members who have come out in support of the union. The calls for Cenovus to acknowledge the union have grown louder in recent weeks, and members of council have shown support at union events.
Members of LIUNA Local 329 were on hand at the council meeting to express their appreciation for the support from the city.
“There’s some level of courage that is required to say that you’re in support of Ohio workers, union or non-union,” said local 329 business manager Tim LuceWireman. “Our whole program, our whole force going forward is to gain that support from the community.”
The resolution came less than a week after the union held a town hall event to engage in a public discussion with Cenovus officials, who didn’t attend the meeting. Councilman Dr. Derry Glenn was at the event, and he reiterated the importance of the union’s movement during the council meeting.
“This is of very great importance here, and I appreciate City Council’s support of this,” he said. “This is very important to our city and also to our state.”
According to the resolution set out by the council, Cenovus’ decision to outsource up to 3,000 jobs from states as far away as Texas could cost the local economies of Lima and Allen County up to $70 million in lost wages, benefits and tax revenues.
Lima Council joins Lima Mayor David Berger, the Shawnee Township trustees and Perry Township trustees, who have all publicly called on Cenovus to reverse its decision.