Exxon Refinery Workers Discuss Contract Dispute Resolution – Union

United Steelworkers (USW) union members demonstrate outside the Exxon Mobil oil refinery amid a contract dispute in Beaumont, Texas, U.S., May 1, 2021. Exxon locked the approximately 650 unionized workers at the plant on fear of a strike. Photo taken on May 1, 2021. REUTERS / Erwin Seba / File Photo

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HOUSTON, Jan. 5 (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) and United Steelworkers (USW) negotiators meet Thursday to resolve an 8-month lockout at a refinery in Beaumont, Texas. A union representative announced on Wednesday.

The two sides have not met for talks in person since October, shortly after workers turned down the company’s contract offer. The talks also take place after a vote by the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to remove the USW from the plant.

USW International Representative Bryan Gross confirmed the meeting.

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Exxon did not respond to a request for comment. The company has announced that it will end the lockout if the company and the union reach an agreement or if the union is removed through decertification.

Exxon continued to operate the refinery and oil blending facility at 369,000 bpd with supervisors and managers as well as temporary operators. The plant produces gasoline and Mobil 1 engine oil.

The NLRB said on Dec. 29 that it confiscated ballots cast in a decertification vote by 13-243 members of USW Local while investigating complaints about unfair labor practices the union filed against the refinery. The results may only be known after several weeks, said an NLRB spokeswoman.

The board said it was investigating the unions’ charges that the month-long lockout of approximately 600 workers at the plant was used to break the union at the plant and that Exxon had inappropriately supported a campaign to leave unions. Exxon denies the allegations. Continue reading

Officials from USW 13-243 said Exxon’s offer would remove job security for many of its members, while the company said the deal was necessary to operate profitably in low-margin environments.

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Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Aurora Ellis

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