ExxonMobil Beaumont Refinery Plant Manager Rozena Dendy shares an update for our neighbors on our ongoing negotiations with the United Steelworkers union.
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ExxonMobil has been actively engaged in good-faith negotiations with the United Steelworkers Union for a new contract since January. Despite extensive efforts, we have not reached agreement, and the Union committee has not held an employee vote on our offers. It’s disheartening because our employees are caught in the middle of negotiation process.
Of note, the Union issued a 75-day strike notice in February. We followed with a 75-day lockout notice. Last week, we notified the Union that the Company will lockout USW-represented employees beginning May 1st at 10 a.m.
As you can imagine, this activity has caused increased media attention and conversation on social media. We firmly believe you deserve to know the facts about the circumstances that led up to this decision.
First, our wage employees are highly valued, and we provide competitive compensation that supports employee performance and retention. This is while maintaining the company’s ability to compete over a range of economic conditions, including periods of low industry margins.
Second, our lockout decision is a result of the Union not accepting the Company’s contract proposals and the risk of a strike. It is vital to the safety of our community that we control this timeline to allow our qualified and highly-skilled team to assume safe control of our operations.
While this was a difficult decision that was made under challenging circumstances, the changes that are being sought are not new or unique within ExxonMobil or the industry. By improving our competitiveness, we are better positioned to be here for another 50+ years. That translates for good paying jobs for current employees and future generations.
We remain hopeful that we will reach an agreement that will maintain a good working relationship with our represented employees.
In the meantime, we appreciate your continued patience and understanding. Nothing is more important to us than the safety and health of all our employees, our contractors, and the people who live and work near our operations. we remain committed to safety excellence in everything we do. Thank you and please continue to stay safe and healthy.