USW leadership calls ExxonMobil offer ‘subpar’ as ratification vote looms

BEAUMONT — Leaders of the United Steelworkers Local 14-243 tell KFDM/Fox 4 News there are problems with the ExxonMobil contract offer but they still plan to let workers vote on the proposal.

The union says the vote is set for October 19 at three different times, 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to accommodate the different schedules and shifts of USW members.

The company locked out about 650 members May 1.

ExxonMobil recently updated its contract offer but union leaders say it falls short in several key areas, including job promotion, job security and safety.

USW leader Bryan Gross spoke with KFDM/Fox 4.

“The Workmen’s Committee has been meeting the past week to discuss the ExxonMobil proposal,” said Gross. “The committee studied it and decided it’s time to take it to a vote. We still think it’s a subpar offer, even with the few changes in the amended offer from the company. There’s still some job loss. They protect the workers until they retire, but after that, we lose jobs. However, after five and a half months, we believe it’s the membership’s decision. If they vote ‘no’ then we’ll keep up the picket line. If they vote ‘yes’ then we’ll move through that process. Overall, we believe the offer isn’t where it should be.”

Some workers have filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board seeking a vote to decertify the union, meaning if passed, it would no longer represent them.

Written by KFDM/FOX4

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