Contract Accepted at ExxonMobil Site

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Contract Accepted at ExxonMobil Site
United Steel Worker union members protesting the lockout at Exxon Mobil. © Michael Wyke/Houston Chronicle via AP

A 10-month lockout at ExxonMobil’s Beaumont, Texas, refinery and lubricant plant is over after union workers voted Monday to accept a new contract with the company.

Two-hundred fourteen members of United Steelworkers Local 13-243 voted in favor of the contract, while 133 voted against, a union representative told KBMT, an ABC News affiliate. The representative added that approximately three quarters of union workers at the site participated in the vote.

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ExxonMobil issued a statement saying it and the union were finalizing a plan for employees to return to work.

Acceptance of the contract will not affect an investigation by the National Labor Relations Board into union allegations that ExxonMobil had engaged in unfair labor practices or a January vote on whether to decertify the local’s representation of employees at the site.

The new contract appears to offer few additional benefits compared with an earlier offer that was rejected in October. The representative who spoke to KBMT said it provides a new paid holiday on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Beaumont complex includes fuels and petrochemical refineries as well as a finished lubricants blending and packaging plant. ExxonMobil has said it continued to operate at full capacity during the lockout, employing management and replacement workers. ExxonMobil criticized union leadership during the lockout saying that it was not representing worker interests. Last month’s vote on whether to decertify the union was held after at least 30% of employees signed a petition requesting it. The Labor Relations Board postponed releasing results of that vote pending an investigation of the union’s complaints against the company, including that the lockout violated fair labor law.

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