Texas refinery workers gather to vote on Exxon contract offer

BEAUMONT, Texas, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Lots of of union employees at Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Beaumont, Texas, oil refinery started voting on Tuesday on a sweetened contract supply that probably might finish a standoff over job assignments.

Exxon locked out the plant’s 650 union employees on Might 1, changing union-represented employees with managers and momentary workers because it pushed for a contract that offers it management over how jobs are assigned forward of a significant growth, and units a freeze to some employees’ pay.

Union members haven’t been paid for nearly six months.

There have been about 200 United Steelworkers union members gathered within the first of three teams to vote on the six-year contract proposal, a Reuters witness stated. Union officers have urged members to reject the “sub-par” supply that they stated might result in job losses.

“Exxon Mobil will not be attempting to barter a contract, they’re attempting to dictate a contract,” stated union employee Richard Landry, 59, who spoke on Monday evening throughout a break from picket responsibility.

“I believe lots of people are mad on the firm and a few individuals are upset on the union,” stated Landry, who declined to debate how he’ll vote. “We’ll see the way it goes.”

The dispute has grown more and more bitter. Exxon this week accused the union of “aggressively” opposing its supply and falsely claiming there could possibly be job cuts and saying the lockout would finish Nov. 1. Union officers accuse Exxon of being behind a decertification marketing campaign to take away the union.

All 650 employees represented by the United Steelworkers union native 13-243 are eligible to vote throughout conferences all through the day. Outcomes are anticipated late Tuesday.

The contract proposal would give Exxon management over staffing of a brand new crude distillation unit that will add 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) capability in 2024, making Beaumont the biggest U.S. oil processing plant by quantity. The refinery’s present capability is 369,024 bpd.

If employees approve the contract, they nonetheless would vote subsequent month on a worker-submitted petition to oust the union from the plant. The U.S. Nationwide Labor Relations Board has set a mid-November vote date. It will first think about a union cost that Exxon improperly aided the petition earlier than releasing outcomes.

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An Exxon spokesperson was not instantly obtainable to touch upon the vote timing. The NLRB didn’t reply to a request for remark.

“Refining continues to take care of a difficult enterprise setting,” Exxon stated in a web based publish urging ratification of the contract. “We try to place Beaumont for a protracted, profitable future.”

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Enhancing by Rashmi Aich and Aurora Ellis


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