United Steelworkers accuse Exxon of union busting at Texas refinery

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BEAUMONT, Texas, Oct 8 (Reuters) – The labor union representing staff locked out of an Exxon Mobil Corp refinery on Friday accused the oil firm of making an attempt to “bust our union” by supporting efforts to formally take away the union with a decertification vote.

Any vote can be tainted by “severe unfair labor practices,” the USW stated in a press release that accused Exxon of “deceptive individuals with complicated statements relating to our union, our negotiations and the corporate’s spiteful lockout.”

A majority of the plant’s union members “are nonetheless with us,” Bryan Gross, a USW worldwide consultant, stated of a vote’s prospects.

Exxon locked out 650 union staff from its Beaumont, Texas, plant on Might 1 after the prior contract expired and there was no vote on the corporate’s proposed supply. The refinery, which makes gasoline and Mobil 1 motor oil, has continued to function utilizing managers and substitute workers.

The U.S. Nationwide Labor Relations Board (NLRB) this week stated it had acquired a petition backed by signatures from no less than 30% of staff represented by United Steelworkers union native 13-243, the minimal required to name for a decertification vote to take away the union.

If the Beaumont staff approve a decertification, it might take away the USW as their bargaining agent. NLRB has not decided whether or not or when a vote to take away the USW can be held, it stated in a discover on Friday.

Exxon has stated its contract proposal accommodates provisions wanted to make sure flexibility to compete in low-margin environments. The corporate stepped up its efforts to win a vote, accusing the union of sowing misinformation and fascinating in voter suppression on the decertification effort.

The USW has stated the proposal would wipe out necessary employee seniority protections and, by creating separate contracts for the plant’s refinery and lubricant oil plant staff, dilute their negotiating energy.

USW and Exxon negotiators met on Friday, Gross stated.
“The corporate clarified some issues,” he stated. “We gave them a couple of issues to think about.”

Reporting by Erwin Seba, writing by Gary McWilliams; Enhancing by Marguerita Choy, Cynthia Osterman and David Gregorio


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