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United Steelworkers union files new charges against ExxonMobil as lockout continues

"The lockout's unnecessary. It's a burden. It's a burden on everybody," local union representative Bryan Gross said.

BEAUMONT, Texas — The local union has filed two new charges against ExxonMobil as part of the latest development in the over seventh-month long lockout.

Local union representative Bryan Gross said these latest charges come as a critical decertification deadline looms.

"The lockout's unnecessary. It's a burden. It's a burden on everybody," Gross said.

Since the lockout began on May 1, the local union and ExxonMobil have been in negotiations to try and reach a new contract.

But with talks stalled and an important decertification vote coming up Gross said the union is taking action filing two new charges.

"It's a constant review of things going on and if there are more charges to be filed, we file 'em," Gross said.

Gross said one of the charges says ExxonMobil hasn't responded to all of the local union's requests for information.

"They're required to do that by law and they've given us some of the information but not all of it," Gross said.

ExxonMobil responded Thursday night saying, "Over the last year, the company has responded to nearly one hundred information requests."

Gross said the other charge is regarding ExxonMobil’s promise to members of the decertification group that the company will return them to work if the “decert” vote is passed.



"The law says they're not allowed to make those promises," Gross said.

The company responded to this charge saying, "The company has not violated the law by providing employees with this information."

As Christmas draws near, the local union is stepping up to help families like the Orandays who have been impacted by the lockout.

This includes collecting toys to give out to families next week.

"My husband's locked out of work,” Brandie Oranday said. “Watching the emotional turmoil that he's going through is taking a toll on me. Seeing this gets me more in the Christmas spirit."

Gross also said if the “decert” vote falls through at the end of the month, the local union hopes to resume negotiations with ExxonMobil and move closer to an agreement.

The union will have a Christmas gathering Tuesday, December 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the local union hall. They'll be handing out toys, providing lunch, and offering pictures with Santa.

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