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ExxonMobil meets with United Steelworkers leaders to discuss new proposal initiated by the union

A USW representative did not say what the proposal included.

BEAUMONT, Texas — ExxonMobil sat down with United Steelworkers union leaders on Tuesday to discuss a new proposal to end the union lockout.

The proposal was initiated by the union according to union representative Bryan Gross.

Gross did not say what was detailed in the proposal but he told 12News it's up to ExxonMobil to determine what's next.

The company later released a statement characterizing the union's offer as a "combination of previously rejected proposals discussed during our more than 50 past bargaining meetings."

Union reps were more interested in "debating the decertification effort" according to ExxonMobil's statement.

 The union and the company are set to meet again on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 the company's statement said.

Last week the United Steelworkers Union voted to reject the latest offer from ExxonMobil. On the heels of that vote, the union reached out to ExxonMobil to discuss the new union-led proposal.

The biggest sticking points for the union deal with safety and seniority Gross told 12News on Tuesday. He said right now, the union does not know where ExxonMobil stands on the latest proposal. 

"It's just a flat rejection, that's what makes it hard. We're having to counter complete proposals and just kind of guess at what they have a problem with and try to figure out where they're at because they won't tell us where they're at," Gross said. 

12News received this statement from ExxonMobil after Tuesday's meeting.

We amended our offer last month with union-requested changes to further support our employees concerns. Today, after providing little detail regarding the basis of their membership’s rejection of the currently available company proposal, the union presented a proposal that was mostly a combination of previously rejected proposals discussed during our more than 50 past bargaining meetings. Rather than bargaining to reach a resolution that would bring employees back to work, the union focused on debating the decertification effort.

This has been a long process for everyone and we know many employees are eager to return to work. As we stated clearly before employees ultimately voted to reject it, this was the best offer we could make under the circumstances. To be clear: the company will end the lockout when we have a signed, ratified agreement with the union. Our offer remains available, but will change as previously described if not ratified by November 1.

In the meantime, we will continue to operate our facility safely and reliably with our fully trained staff, as well as meet with the union should they request bargaining.

None of this has changed and anything said to the contrary is untrue.

The next bargaining meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 27.

The two parties didn't get anywhere between then and the notice of a lockout given on April 23.

Then, on May 1, 2021, more than 600 union workers were officially locked out of the downtown Beaumont facility.

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This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.

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