BEAUMONT, Texas, June 10 (Reuters) - A lockout of union
workers at Exxon Mobil Corp's third-largest U.S.
refinery continued without resolution after negotiators for the
United Steelworkers union and Exxon met on Thursday for the
first time in six weeks.
The labor contract covering 650 union workers at Exxon's
369,024 barrel-per-day (bpd) Beaumont, Texas, refinery and
lubricants facility expired earlier this year. Exxon locked out
the union workers, citing worries over a walkout, and is
operating the 2,700-acre (11-sq km) complex with managers and
The two sides discussed their contract terms and agreed to
meet again next week, said Darrell Kyle, president of USW Local
13-243 at the refinery and lubricant plant, which produces Mobil
1 motor oil.
"We went through some things to see if they had room to
move," said Kyle. "They said they do, but they have no reason to
Exxon said its current offer remains in effect.
"No additional proposals were exchanged in todays meeting
with the union," said spokesperson Julie King. "We continue to
meet and bargain in good faith."
Contract talks stalled in late April with Exxon calling on
the USW to submit its proposal to a vote. The union rejected
that and submitted its own terms.
Mark Morgan, chairman of USW's negotiating group, said it
withdrew an earlier proposal that would have paid control room
operators by the hour instead of salary, a move he said would
have saved Exxon money.
Exxon has said its offer would allow it to be profitable
even during times of low profit margins. It asked for separate
agreements for refinery and lubricant workers, and to eliminate
parts of the seniority system governing job assignments.
Both have discussed a six-year agreement. The USW offered no
pay increase in the first year with the second through sixth
years determined by national negotiations that have yet to take
place. It wants to continue the seniority system for
(Reporting by Erwin Seba in Beaumont, Texas
Editing by Marguerita Choy)