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Exxon Texas refinery workers to vote on removing union

Exxon Texas refinery workers to vote on removing union
Exxon Texas refinery workers to vote on removing union   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  
By Reuters

<div> <p>By Erwin Seba</p> <p><span class="caps">HOUSTON</span> -Locked-out workers at Exxon Mobil Corp’s Beaumont, Texas, refinery will vote between Nov. 12 and Dec. 22 in a mail-in ballot on whether to remove the United Steelworkers union (<span class="caps">USW</span>) from representing them, according to the company and union.</p> <p>The U.S. National Labor Relations Board (<span class="caps">NLRB</span>) will send out the ballots on Nov. 12 to workers represented by <span class="caps">USW</span> Local 13-243 at the refinery and adjoining lubricants blending and packaging plant, according to Exxon and the union. The ballots must be returned by Dec. 22. </p> <p>At least 30% of the workers locked out of their jobs at the 369,000 barrel-per-day refinery and lubricants plant signed a petition calling for a decertification vote that was submitted to the <span class="caps">NLRB</span> in early October.</p> <p>About 650 workers were locked on May 1 after a deadline passed without a new labor contract, but resignations and retirements from the union have reduced that number to about 585, according to union officials. Of those workers, about 500 are dues-paying members of the <span class="caps">USW</span>. </p> <p>The remainder are still represented by the union under the Texas right-to-work law.</p> <p>All who are represented by the <span class="caps">USW</span> will be eligible to cast ballots in the decertification vote.</p> <p>The decertification vote follows the rejection of an Exxon contract proposal on Oct. 19, in which 400 union members cast ballots.</p> <p>Exxon has said either adoption of the contract or decertification of the union will end the lockout, which began after the union refused to agree to a contract that would eliminate job seniority. </p> <p>The rejected proposal would have given Exxon control over staffing of a new crude distillation unit that would add 250,000 barrels per day capacity in 2024, making Beaumont the largest U.S. oil-processing plant by volume.</p> <p>The <span class="caps">NLRB</span> has yet to rule on <span class="caps">USW</span> complaints alleging Exxon supported the decertification campaign, in violation of federal law. The <span class="caps">NLRB</span> could impound the votes and not reveal the outcome until it rules on the union complaints.</p> <p>If the <span class="caps">NLRB</span> does not impound the ballots, they could be counted by the end of the year. </p> </div>