29 April 2013 16:36 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--A strike or a lockout could hit ExxonMobil's Baytown petrochemical and refinery complex because a union and the company cannot agree on contract terms for healthcare and safety, the union said on Monday.
The United Steelworkers (USW) Local 13-2001 and ExxonMobil are negotiating their three-year contract for the Baytown site, the largest integrated refinery and petrochemical complex in the US.
The union at Baytown said it wants the same health and safety language that ExxonMobil has already agreed to at its facilities in Torrance, California; Billings, Montana; Chalmette, Louisiana; and Beaumont, Texas.
ExxonMobil, however, rejected the Baytown union's last offer, which was given on 15 April, the USW said.
With the breakdown in negotiations, the union issued a required 60-day notice to end the existing contract and go on strike, it said. ExxonMobil likewise issued a required 60-day lockdown notice.
During the 60-day period, both sides will continue negotiating a contract, the union said. The two sides already met on 19 April, and they have another bargaining session scheduled for 3 May.
“We’re confident that an agreement can be reached with ExxonMobil and a strike averted,” according to a statement by Richard “Hoot” Landry, USW District 13 staff representative.
“Our union developed this language to help the oil companies do a better job at process safety so that problems can be detected before they result in fires, explosions, releases and other incidents that impact the health and safety of our workers and the local community," Landry said.
ExxonMobil did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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