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Exxon offers new proposal to locked-out Texas refinery workers By Reuters


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: This is a view of ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery, Baton Rouge (La.), U.S.A. May 15, 2021. Picture taken May 15, 2021. REUTERS/Kathleen Flynn/File Photo

By Erwin Seba

HOUSTON (Reuters) -Exxon Mobil Corp amended the contract proposal being made to locked-out workers at its Beaumont, Texas, refinery and lube oil plant to include some seniority protection, the company said on Wednesday.

The offer marked the company’s first concession to the 650 workers at the 369,000-barrel-per-day refinery since a lockout began on May 1. The union previously requested that the vote be scheduled on January’s “last and best” offer.

According to someone familiar with the matter, officials from United Steelworkers (USW), local 13-243 are currently reviewing the proposal. According to the USW, the initial offer would have destroyed the seniority system. It also created separate contracts for employees at the nearby lubricants plants and refinery.

Exxon (NYSE 🙂 stated that it made the changes because of the Union’s insistence on maintaining existing seniority provisions for employees.

This proposal provides seniority protection to protect job transfers within the complex’s lubricants or refinery sections. Exxon stated the proposal also provides layoff protection and promotions for warehouse operators working in lubricants.

“The amended offer, which comes after months of good-faith bargaining meetings, provides further support to our represented employees’ concerns about security and seniority, while still achieving the company’s objectives of a safe, reliable operations, and a profitable site,” spokesperson Julie King said in an email.

Exxon announced that workers would receive $500 bonuses if the proposal is approved before Nov. 1. More than 75% rejected proposals for a vote to approve the contract.

Managers, supervisors, as well as some temporary employees have been employed at the refinery and lube plants since the lockout started.

The company stated that Exxon initiated the lockout to avoid striking.

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