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Union offered Exxon six-year deal with no raise first year - sources

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·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: Exxon Mobil begins lockout of workers from Texas plant
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By Erwin Seba

HOUSTON (Reuters) - United Steelworkers union negotiators bargaining for a new contract at an Exxon Mobil Texas refinery offered a six-year deal with no pay raise in the first year, people familiar with the talks said, shortly before 650 workers were locked out of their jobs.

The Local 13-243 proposal would match raises in the second through sixth years to those set by national labor negotiations that have yet to be held, the people said. The two sides have not swapped new proposals since the May 1 lockout, the people said.

The Beaumont plant's union workers were ushered out after Local 13-243 officials refused Exxon's call for a vote on the company's April 20 labor proposal, details of which have not been disclosed.

The 2,700-acre Beaumont complex is Exxon's third-largest U.S. refinery and produces gasoline and Mobil 1 motor oil. It continues to operate with managers and replacement workers on site.

"The provisions being sought by the company are not new or unique to the industry or ExxonMobil. Many provisions sought by the union are not part of other existing contracts we have with the USW," said Exxon spokeswoman Julie King.

The two sides "remain far apart on many important items," she added.

The USW local wants to maintain four 10-hour work days, job bidding, grievance and arbitration procedures. Its proposal offered to extend a probationary period for new workers to 18 months from six, the people said.

Hoot Landry, a staff representative for the USW, declined to discuss the union proposal.

Exxon told union negotiators it expected no layoffs of hourly workers at the site, they said. The firm is in the midst of an expansion program that would double the plant's processing capacity.

The two sides have not met since April 30, but another meeting has been discussed, one of the people said.

(Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by David Gregorio)