ExxonMobil answers questions about the end of union representation

While the next meeting between the company and union representatives for the 620 Beaumont workers is still in limbo, ExxonMobil has started to answer questions about the dismissal of the bargaining unit.

In a briefing message to employees Thursday night, the company decided to present the information it said answered questions from currently locked out workers about the process for the United Steelworkers being withdrawn from their representation. local, 13-243.

“The company continues to receive questions related to decertification from employees and has posted some of these questions with answers,” spokeswoman Nakisha Burns told the company in an email.

In the newsletter, company representatives explained the technical aspects of calling an election to revoke certification and how compensation for certain positions would be affected if passed.

According to information from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which is receiving petitions to facilitate elections for workplace representation, at least 30% of the 620 workers in the refineries and packing plant bargaining unit are expected to sign the petition to start the process.

Notably, the company is expected to end the lockout and allow workers to return to work before they can vote to withdraw their certification, as temporary workers will not be able to vote.

A petition notice for an election was not made public in the NLRB database on Friday afternoon.

On Friday morning, representatives of the United Steelworkers called the notice a “desperate move” and questioned when the information was released.

Richard “Hoot” Landry, a Steelworker District 13 personnel representative, said the conversation about revoking certification was not new and had taken place long before the lockdown began on May 1, but he believed that it had been mismanaged.

“There was an employee in the factory who was trying to collect signatures for the decertification efforts and share information with the workers, but it eventually grew to the point of creating a hostile working environment which was reported to management. . “

Landry said he couldn’t comment on the details of what had happened and that the union was not accusing ExxonMobil of pushing the movement to withdraw its certification.

A formal complaint to the NLRB filed over a month ago has provided more context on what happened before the lockdown.

In the document filed on May 23, Steelworkers lawyers alleged that the company provided an employee with documents about decertification, as well as emails from employees and the use of its messaging system and allowed them to have kept a safe on company property for petitions since early March.

The complaint also alleged that the company had made changes outside of the agreed contract that impacted workers’ safety and rights, such as ending the requirement for employees working at heights to have an observer.

He also objected to workers being unable to make up for lost shifts due to the impacts of winter storm Uri across Texas.

The company said it could not respond to the direct accusations contained in the complaint, but acted appropriately and within the law throughout the negotiation of the contract.

“The company has always acted legally and will continue to do so,” Burns said in an email. “Beyond that, the company has no further comments on the decertification effort at this time.”

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