Sunday, December, 09, 2018 11:29:05

Reports indicate that Rotterdam based multinational chemical company LyondellBasell Industries N.V. and a United Steelworkers (USW) local union have initiated talks over a new contract for 485 workers at the Houston oil refinery of LyondellBasell. This report came a day after the employees rallied outside the plant owing to the lack of negotiations.

USW International representative Marcos Velez said in a statement that the union was expecting the chemical company would propose cuts, without providing further details on the type of reductions expected.

Velez further said that the company and the union have met and though the union stays committed to reaching an agreement, the initial proposals from the company are concessionary and not at all acceptable by the union. Reportedly, the contract between USW local 13-227 and LyondellBasell expires on February 1.

Citing reliable sources, the agreement on these local issues would be merged with a national contract that will be negotiated in January between representatives of USW International and Shell Oil Co. Apparently, the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc is the lead corporation for chemical plant and refinery owners.

The sources added that the national agreement sets the safety, benefits and health issues, along with the pattern for pay which must be integrated in the contracts at every location, where the members of USW work. The national agreement would also expire on February 1.

LyondellBasell Industries N.V. is among the largest plastics, chemicals and refining firms across the world. The company works to safely and reliably deliver fuels, polymers, chemicals and technologies that advance solutions to the company’s biggest challenges. The company is a leading manufacturer of oxyfuels globally, as well as polypropylene in Europe and North America.

Stock of LyondellBasell had plunged $3.75 during the regular trading session on Dec. 4, 2018, hitting $90.57. The company’s stock witnessed a trading volume of 4.16 million shares, in contrast to its average daily volume of 3.03M shares.