Exxon launches phone campaign to win votes from Texas refinery workers for union contract

Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) picket outside Exxon Mobil’s oil refinery amid a contract dispute in Beaumont, Texas, United States on May 1, 2021. Exxon has locked out approximately 650 employees represented by the unions, fearing a strike. REUTERS / Erwin Seba / File Photo

HOUSTON, Oct. 15 (Reuters) – Executives at Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) on Friday began calling locked out workers at the company’s Beaumont, Texas refinery to lobby for the approval of a contract proposal that will be voted on early next week, United said a United Steelworkers (USW) official said.

In addition to a call to ratify the contract offer, which the union urged workers to reject, managers provided information on a decertification petition that could lead to a vote to remove USW from union representation. workers, said Bryan Gross, a representative of the international union.

“The company locked us out six months ago,” Gross said. “They haven’t asked about anyone and now they’re reaching out and saying, ‘Trust us. “”

An Exxon spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 650 workers locked out on May 1 at the 369,024 barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery and lube oil plant are due to vote on Exxon’s contract offer on Tuesday.

The company said in a Facebook post on Friday that once the offer is ratified, “the company will work with the union to establish a return-to-work agreement and fire the employees represented by the Steelworkers on the site, putting end of lockout “.

The US National Labor Relations Board is reviewing a petition submitted by at least 30% of locked out workers calling for a recall vote. If successful, he would remove the local Steelworkers union 13-243 in Beaumont from the workers’ representation.

USW opposes Exxon’s contract offer, saying it would eliminate seniority in jobs, giving workers voice in assignments, and create virtually separate agreements for workers refineries and workers in lubricants factories.

Exxon said the deal is necessary to make the refinery competitive even in low-margin environments.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by William Mallard

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