Exxon Texas refinery workers to vote to end union
By Erwin Seba
HOUSTON (Reuters) – Locked-out workers at Exxon Mobil Corp’s refinery in Beaumont, Texas will vote between Nov. 12 and Dec. 22 in a mail-in ballot on whether to withdraw the United Steelworkers United (USW) of their representation, according to the company and the union.
The U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will send the ballots on Nov. 12 to workers represented by Steelworkers Local 13-243 at the refinery and adjacent lubricant blending and packaging plant, according to Exxon and the union. Ballots must be returned by December 22.
At least 30% of 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 NLRB in early October.
About 650 workers were stranded on May 1 after a deadline passed without a new employment contract, but resignations and retirements from the union reduced that number to around 585, according to union officials. Of these workers, approximately 500 are dues-paying members of the United Steelworkers.
The rest are still represented by the union under Texas right to work law.
Everyone who is represented by the United Steelworkers will be eligible to vote on the recall vote.
The decertification vote follows the rejection of an Exxon contract proposal on Oct. 19, in which 400 union members voted.
Exxon said adopting the contract or revoking the union would end the lockout, which began after the union refused to accept a contract that would eliminate seniority in the job.
The rejected proposal would have given Exxon control over the staffing of a new crude distillation unit that would add a capacity of 250,000 barrels per day in 2024, making Beaumont the largest oil processing plant in the United States. United in volume.
The NLRB has yet to rule on Steelworkers’ complaints alleging that Exxon supported the decertification campaign, in violation of federal law. The NLRB could block the votes and not reveal the result until it takes a stand on the union complaints.
If the NLRB does not capture the ballots, they could be counted by the end of the year.
(Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Leslie Adler)