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ExxonMobil and USW agree to an orderly transfer of Beaumont refinery to temporary workers in case of lockout

April 30/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil and the United Steelworkers union (USW) have agreed to an orderly transfer of the company's Beaumont, Texas, refinery to temporary workers if a threatened lockout begins on Saturday, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing with reference to people familiar with the talks.

The two sides have been in negotiations since January but have been unable to agree on a new union labor contract for the plant, Exxon's third-largest US refinery by capacity. If Exxon locks out the union workers, it would be the first time since 1988 that the Beaumont plant workers have gone off the job in a labour dispute.

Exxon told refinery workers in an email that it wants the union to hold a vote on its latest offer, according to an email viewed by Reuters. It has declined to hold further talks without the vote, the people said.

"We hope the union allows employees to vote on our offer and reach an agreement before May 1," Exxon spokeswoman Julie King said.

Neither side has disclosed details of the proposals for the contract that will replace a six-year pact reached in 2015.

The union rejected Exxon's last proposal and counter offered with a one-year extension. After that rejection, Exxon gave the union notice it planned to lock out hourly employees on Saturday.

USW Local 13-243 represents 650 hourly workers at the 369,024 barrel-per-day (bpd) oil refinery and adjoining lubricants blending and packaging plant.

Exxon has trained managers and engineers from around the United States to operate refinery units. It plans to bring in temporary replacement workers on a unit-by-unit basis beginning Saturday, according to people familiar with the talks. The oil company this week began soliciting former employees and others with at least two years experience as process operators to staff units between May 10 and August.

As MRC informed previously, Sinopec Engineering (Group) and ExxonMobil (Huizhou) Chemical (EMHCC) have just entered into a BEPC (basic design, engineering, procurement and construction) contract for the proposed Huizhou Chemical Complex Project (Phase I). The main units of the project include a 1.6 million tonnes/year ethylene flexible feed steam cracker, downstream polymer and derivative units and utilities. The main product units include two performance polyethylene (PE) lines and two differentiated performance polypropylene (PP) lines.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing PE and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated polyethylene (PE) consumption totalled 356,370 tonnes in the first two month of 2021, down by 9% year on year. Shipments of exclusively low density polyethylene (LDPE) increased. At the same time, polypropylene (PP) shipments to the Russian market was 246,870 tonnes in January-February 2021, up by 30% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world"s oil and about 2% of the world"s energy.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, PP block copolymer, homopolymer PP, propylene, LDPE, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, Exxon Mobil, Sinopec, China, Russia.
Category:General News
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