The Lockout at the Exxon (XOM stock) Refinery was Illegal, and the U.S. Labor Board Wants Back Pay

XOM Stock

The 10-month lockout of workers at an Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM stock) refinery in Texas was an “unlawful” effort to remove the United Steelworkers union (USW) representing the workers, as stated in a complaint that was issued on Monday by the United States National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB’s statement was based on the lockout’s attempt to remove the union representing the workers.

Exxon (XOM stock) Employee Situation

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) requested that an administrative law judge grant back pay, in addition to other possible remedies, to the more than 600 employees who were locked out of their positions at Exxon Mobil Corp’s (XOM stock) refinery and lubricant oil facility in Beaumont, Texas, between May 2021 and March 2022.

In January, there will be a hearing in Houston that will focus on the complaint and the potential solutions. On a nationwide scale, the average hourly wage for unionized refinery workers with at least four years of experience is more than $41. It’s possible that Exxon (NYSE:XOM) will have to pay tens of millions of dollars to cover the back compensation.

According to a statement released by Exxon Mobil’s spokesman Julie King, the company “operated in line with the law at all times.”

According to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Exxon (XOM stock) sent communications to the workers who were locked out, offering them that they could return to their employment provided they voted to decertify USW local 13-243 as their representative.

A spokesperson for USW International named Ryan Gross stated that the complaint lodged by the board was good news for workers who Exxon locked out.

Gross expressed relief that the board had the same perceptions as his team on Monday. “We were there for our members at all times.”

Exxon has stated that it initiated the lockout in response to a strike notice given by the union during talks for a new contract in January of 2021. Locking down the processing plant, which had a capacity of 369,024 barrels per day (BPD), was required to avoid potential disruptions.

Despite the lockout, the refinery, Exxon’s third most significant in the United States in terms of capacity, continued to operate during the whole dispute. Replacement workers were either brought in from other Exxon operations or hired locally.

According to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), using replacement workers “is intrinsically detrimental to the rights provided to employees” under federal law.

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