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Exxon accuses USW of ‘voter suppression’ in message to locked-out Texas refinery workers

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HOUSTON, Oct 7 (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) in a message to locked-out workers at its Beaumont, Texas, refinery accused the United Steelworkers union (USW) of misinformation and voter suppression, a day after a marketing campaign to take away the union cleared an important hurdle.

“We look forward to continuing to give the facts, particularly as the USW continues its campaign of misinformation and voter suppression,” the corporate stated in the message posted on-line late on Thursday.

A USW spokesperson stated the union wouldn’t have a response on Thursday night time.

On Wednesday, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) instructed the corporate and the union it obtained a petition calling for a vote to take away the union, with signatures from 30% of Exxon Beaumont staff represented by USW native union 13-243.

No date has been set for a decertification vote, which may take months to prepare.

In Thursday’s message, Exxon famous that the majority U.S. staff usually are not represented by a labor union.

“In fact, 94% of private U.S. workers do not have a union. There are many good reasons for this,” Exxon stated.

Exxon locked out 650 workers from their jobs on May 1 on the 369,024 barrel-per-day (bpd) Beaumont refinery and adjoining lubricant oil plant.

Exxon stated the lockout was to keep away from the disruption from a potential strike after the union refused throughout months of talks to agree to a contract supply. The contract was wanted to guarantee profitability in all circumstances, the corporate stated.

The USW stated the corporate’s proposal would wipe out seniority and create separate contracts for workers on the refinery and lubricant oil plant.

The USW in April filed a grievance with the NLRB alleging Exxon had violated federal legislation by offering an worker with decertification supplies, worker electronic mail addresses, and use of an organization laptop and electronic mail system to marketing campaign for decertification.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Tom Hogue

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United Steelworkers union members picket outside the Exxon Mobil Beaumont, after being locked out of the plant by the company, in Beaumont, Texas, U.S., May 1, 2021.  REUTERS/Erwin Seba/File Photo

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