USW Files Additional Charges Against LyondellBasell Houston Refining Over Refusal to Bargain and Implementation of Rejected Proposals

Union Continues to Press for Negotiations

Contact:  Lynne Hancock, USW, (o) 615-831-6782, (c) 615-828-6169, lhancock@usw.org

Nashville, Tenn.The United Steelworkers Union (USW) says LyondellBasell Houston Refining falsely declared impasse in talks with the union for a new contract and illegally implemented its rejected “last, best and final” offer. 

LyondellBasell“LyondellBasell’s premature declaration of impasse and refusal to bargain with USW Local 13-227 is outrageous,” said USW District 13 Staff Representative Jim Lefton, who is bargaining the contract with the local’s negotiating committee.

LyondellBasell gave its “last, best and final” offer to Local 13-227’s bargaining committee on April 11. The company’s proposal was soundly rejected by the union’s membership on April 13-14. In response, the company falsely claimed the parties were at a bargaining impasse and it would implement its rejected offer on April 20.

“We provided the company with new proposals that made significant movement to resolve the disputed contract issues and repeatedly asked the company to return to the bargaining table, but they refused to bargain,” Lefton said.

The USW filed its 12th ULP charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on April 20 concerning LyondellBasell’s refusal to bargain in good faith by prematurely declaring impasse in the talks, refusing to bargain over mandatory subjects, and unilaterally changing the terms and conditions of employment in the absence of an impasse.

“LyondellBasell used the declaration of impasse to bully its workers to accept a substandard contract that does not stop the company from working its employees to the point of exhaustion,” Lefton said. “There is no deterrent, like premium pay, that would force the company to address excessive overtime and analyze the number of workers needed to hire and eliminate this pay.

“There is plenty of movement that can be made at the bargaining table to address the open issues and that’s why we urge LyondellBasell to return to the bargaining table,” Lefton added.

The USW also sent a letter to the federal mediator overseeing the negotiations to request a return to the bargaining table.  The mediator has been unsuccessful in bringing the company back to the table as well.

Local 13-227 members have been engaged in the ULP strike against the company since February 1, following the expiration of their collective bargaining agreement with the company.

The USW is the largest private-sector union in North America, representing 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, energy, chemicals, transportation, health care, security, hotels, and municipal governments.

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