BEAUMONT, Texas — Members of the United Steelworkers union are set to meet Tuesday, October 19 to vote on ExxonMobil’s latest offer, which will remain available until November 1.
United Steel Worker International Staff Representative Bryan Gross told 12News that union members received this information Monday. Voting times will be at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 6 p.m.
Since May of 2021, more than 600 employees have been locked out of the Beaumont facility, while the two sides negotiate items including safety, pay and seniority status.
Gross said USW union members will share more information on the ratification vote soon.
ExxonMobil and the USW union met for the 50th on Monday, Sept 27, where the company presented the first new offer since January 2021. After November 1, some of the offer’s provisions will be subject to change or expire.
Officials with ExxonMobil said the offer provided further support to their represented employees’ concerns about security and seniority, while still reaching the company’s objectives of a safe, reliable operation and a profitable site.
Officials also said the company is offering a $500 ratification bonus to all union workers if the offer is ratified by November 1. Gross said the ratification bonus was a slap in the face.
The amended offer still contained a six-year term with the additions of the four Union-requested changes listed below:
- Seniority protection for job transfers between the Blending & Packaging (Lubes) plant and Refinery.
- Layoff protection for both Business Support Specialists and Materials Specialists.
- Combination of the Package and Warehouse Operator Lines of Promotion at the Blending & Packaging (Lubes) Plant.
- $500 ratification bonus for all USW-represented employees should the offer be ratified by Monday, Nov. 1.
In a previous statement to 12News, union members said the never expected the lockout, which in early May of 2021, to last this long.
Shortly after Exxon presented the new offer, an anonymous individual requested a vote to decertify the USW union at ExxonMobil. The union was notified the the individual did have enough signatures to request a decertification vote from the National Labor Relations Board .
If the election is held and the majority of the votes cast are not in favor of union representation then the union will be "decertified" according to the NLRB.
USW officials released a statement on October 8, saying ExxonMobil had committed “serious unfair labor practices during bargaining." The union also accused Exxon of "illegal actions," saying that it could taint the results of a decertification election.
Union officials claimed that ExxonMobil has been "deliberately misleading people" with confusing statements regarding the union, the negotiations, and Exxon’s “spiteful lockout of union members from their jobs,” since the bargaining started.