BEAUMONT, Texas — Previously impounded votes counted by the National Labor Relations Board revealed that the United Steelworkers Union is here to stay.
It has been three months since the NLRB impounded union member votes on whether to decertify the USW union. The vote was impounded as members of the board looked into three separate claims of unfair labor practices.
The votes were finally counted on Monday. Results showed that 258 members voted in favor of being represented by the USW union and 229 voted against.
The vote was held via mail-in ballot from Nov. 12, 2021 to Dec. 29, 2021. The vote on whether to decertify the union was impounded on Dec. 22, 2021.
Locked-out ExxonMobil workers have since been allowed back in the refinery, after USW union members voted to accept an offer from the power giant in late February of 2022 effectively ending the lockout.
During the almost 10-month long lockout, many petitions circulated to remove the United Steel Workers union from representing the locked-out workers.
On Oct. 4, 2021, locked-out workers filed a petition to decertify the union. Afterward, union workers were asked to vote on whether to keep the union. “Secret ballots” were sent out in the mail to USW workers.
The NLRB impounded the decertification ballots and postponed the vote counting. Board members stated that they needed to look into allegations filed by both employees looking to decertify the union and the USW union against ExxonMobil.
Information previously obtained by 12News through open records requests revealed that there were two charges filed by the union against Exxon. There was one charge filed by the decertification group against the union.
All the allegations filed with the NLRB were centered around unfair labor practices.
The first complaint was filed against the USW on Sept. 30, 2021 by members of the decertification group. The complaint stated in part that union, "officers, agents and representatives have restrained and coerced employees.”
In December of 2021, the union filed two charges against the power giant. Union officials claimed the company violated the National Labor Relations Act by promising to return employees to work if they decertified from the local union.
Union officials also claimed the company was not providing them with necessary information.