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ExxonMobil and USW fail to find mutual consent, leading to first lockout at Beaumont refinery in 118 years

May 06/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Disputes over seniority rights and pay for union workers at ExxonMobil Corps Beaumont, Texas, refinery led to Saturdays first lockout at the 118-year-old plant, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing with reference to people familiar with the matter.

Workers represented by the United Steelworkers union (USW) walked picket lines for a third day outside the gates of the refinery and its lube oil plant. No talks took place and no proposals were swapped on Monday between two sides, the people said.

The oil company on Saturday barred about 650 USW Local 13-243 members from the complex, citing the union's refusal to call for a vote on its contract proposal. Exxon also feared the workers might strike, officials said.

The two sides mostly disagree on Exxon's call for revising seniority rules, the people said. Refinery workers spend their entire careers on one processing unit, gaining seniority preferences for scheduling, hours and job stability, they said.

Exxon has said its contract proposal would maintain "the company's ability to compete over a range of economic conditions, including periods of low industry margins."

The USW separately filed complaints with the US National Labor Relations Board against Exxon, accusing it of refusing to bargain, of repudiating or modifying their agreement, and of coercion.

As MRC reported 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 the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 576,270 tonnes in the first three month of 2021, up by 4% year on year. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 410,890 tonnes in January-March 2021, up by 56% 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, USA.
Category:General News
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