BEAUMONT, Texas, May 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The USW today condemned ExxonMobil’s decision to engage in an unfair labor practice lock out impacting more than 650 members of USW Local 13-243 in its Beaumont, Texas refinery and blending and packaging plant.
«It’s deeply disappointing that ExxonMobil would take such a drastic step and keep its dedicated workforce off the job when our only goal throughout this whole process has been to bargain a fair agreement,» said USW Local 13-243 President Darrell Kyle.
The local began bargaining a new contract with ExxonMobil on Jan. 11. On April 23, the company provided written notice of its intention to lock out workers starting May 1 unless they accepted a proposal which included major changes impacting members’ safety, security and seniority. Contrary to this notice, management began escorting workers out of the blending and packaging plant the evening of April 30.
«Our members deserve to stay safe on the job, and having skilled, experienced workers operating our facilities keeps our community safe as well,» Kyle said.
The USW urged the company to end its unfair labor practice lock out quickly and come back to the bargaining table so the two sides could continue negotiating.
«Over the past year, the company was perfectly willing to tell us we were essential as we performed our jobs through the Covid-19 pandemic, hurricanes, floods and most recently an unprecedented freeze,» Kyle said. «Now, it’s rewarding our hard work and sacrifice by forcing us off our jobs.»
The USW represents 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.
Contact: Richard Hoot Landry, 409-284-9807
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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)