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DEVELOPING: USW claims ExxonMobil “misleading people” in what USW calls “spiteful lockout”

BEAUMONT — The United Steelworkers Union Local 13-243 is firing back at what it calls ExxonMobil’s “illegal actions” that will taint the results of a representation election.

A petition has been submitted to the National Labor Relations Board calling for decertification election. Those signing the petition want to have workers vote on decertifying the union so it would no longer represent them. They’re unhappy the ExxonMobil lockout has lasted this long. It began May 1, impacting about 650 USW members. They want a chance to vote on an contract offer. Union leadership says ExxonMobil is “misleading people” in what the USW calls a “spiteful lockout.”

ExxonMobil released a statement on its website, saying it supports employees’ right to choose whether they want to be represented by the USW. ExxonMobil says “unfortunately, there has already been much misinformation about our negotiations and this election.”

From USW 13-243 – The USW contends that ExxonMobil committed serious unfair labor practices during bargaining and while implementing its lockout and that the company’s illegal actions will taint the results of a representation election. Simply put, management would rather operate without a union than negotiate with ours.

Since bargaining started, ExxonMobil deliberately has been misleading people with confusing statements regarding our union, our negotiations and the company’s spiteful lockout of union members from their jobs at the refinery and blending/packaging plant.

ExxonMobil can end the lockout any time and return workers to their rightful jobs, but the company is determined to continue breaking the law in its drive to divide our membership and bust our union.

Our membership has been tested before, and our solidarity has prevailed in every case. We will continue to hold ExxonMobil accountable and urge management to bargain in good faith for the fair contract essential workers in Beaumont have earned and deserve.

-USW Local 13-243 Leadership

From ExxonMobil: To: All Represented BMRF/B&P Employees

On October 5, one of your co-workers filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seeking to decertify the Steelworkers Union as the representative of employees in the Refinery and Blending & Packaging Plant. At least 30 percent of your co-workers submitted signatures in support of this petition. The NLRB is very committed to your privacy and will not share this document with the Company or the Union.

The Company supports employees’ right to choose whether they wish to be represented by the USW. Most of us were not born when the union first started in Beaumont during the 1940s. The world is a different place. It’s time for you to have a say. In fact, 94% of private US workers do not have a union. There are many good reasons for this.

In the coming days, we will work with the NLRB to protect your right to vote in a secret ballot election. We expect the Union will try to block or delay this vote. In fact, the union has said as much in the press. We are confident their efforts will fail, and your voice will be heard. The vote may be in person or by mail ballot. Either way, your vote will be 100% secret. Nobody will know how you vote unless you tell them.

Unfortunately, there has already been much misinformation about our negotiations and this election. One rumor in the news is that ExxonMobil will not bring back employees if the USW is decertified. This claim is untrue. As we have repeatedly said, we look forward to returning employees to work as soon as we agree on a new contract with the Union. If the Union is decertified, we will also welcome back every single employee.

Written by KFDM/FOX4

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