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ExxonMobil and USW try different approach to resolve increasingly bitter dispute

June 23/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil and the United Steelworkers union (USW) hope to break an increasingly bitter dispute over a Texas refinery contract this week by taking a different approach of sending one negotiator each to contract talks instead of a whole team, reported Reuters with reference to company and union officials' statements.

Exxon seven weeks ago locked out 650 union workers at its Beaumont, Texas, refinery and lubricants plant after failing to reach agreement on a new contract. On Thursday, negotiators met for only the second time since the lockout but failed to make any headway and stopped talks after about two hours.

Talks have turned fractious. The union has accused Exxon of trying to dissolve seniority provisions, colluding to break the union and falsely claiming the union's seniority terms are unique.

After Exxon tweeted the job-seniority terms it wanted were no different than those at the company's Baytown, Texas, refinery, local 13-2001 union President Ricky Brooks called the tweet "factually untrue."

The USW has filed a complaint with the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) claiming Exxon violated labor laws by improperly monitoring employees and used company resources to launch an effort to dissolve the union.

An employee has circulated information to gain support for a petition to decertify the USW local that represents Beaumont workers, according to the NLRB complaint. Exxon told employees seeking information to contact its human resources department or the NLRB. A vote can be called if 30% of covered employees sign a petition and file it with the NLRB.

"We continue to meet and bargain in good faith with the union," said Exxon spokeswoman Julie King. "The company has at all times acted lawfully and will continue to do so."In another sign of tensions, the USW this month filed a federal lawsuit in Houston claiming Exxon refused to accept an arbitrator's decision involving two workers.

The lawsuit asked the US court to enforce a ruling calling for two union workers fired from its Baytown refinery to be reinstated and given back pay.

As MRC informed previously, Gov. John Bel Edwards and ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery Manager David Oldreive have announced the companys final investment decision for more than USD240 million in capital improvements at the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery.

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 744,130 tonnes in the first four month of 2021, up by 4% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. At the same time, PP deliveries to the Russian market were 523,900 tonnes in January-April 2021, up by 55% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas shipments of PP random copolymers decreased.

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, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, Exxon Mobil, USA.
Category:General News
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