PACE Local 4-227 Lyondell-Citgo Workers Address Stockholder Meeting
HOUSTON, Texas, May 2, 2003 - Members of the Paper, Allied- Industrial, Chemical & Energy Workers International Union (PACE) Local 4-227 at the Lyondell Citgo refinery (NYSE:LYO) hand-billed corporate headquarters and then spoke at the annual stockholders meeting today about reported anti- worker actions being undertaken against employees at the refinery.
Managers at the refinery have terminated 27 people since 1998. One arbitrator, in a recent ruling, stated, "this is an example of an approach to employee discipline that has run amuck" when the company terminated an employee for trying to take care of his blind, diabetic mother.
"Management at the refinery has cost this company over $750,000 with this foolhardy approach to its employees," said PACE Region Six Representative Jim Lefton.
He said management at the refinery has ignored National Labor Relations Board directives to supply information to the union in order to properly represent its members and to protect them from the heavy-handed approach of refinery management.
"In our opinion, management at the facility has taken the Family Medical Leave Act and turned it into a punishment by forcing employees to jump through many hoops in order to avoid losing their jobs," said Mack Hickerson, president of PACE Local 4-227, during the hand-billing.
Lefton expressed concern that management at the refinery could be compromising safety by having operators do maintenance work in addition to running very complex units. He warned that this should cause great concern for the residents around the refinery and in the nearby city of Pasadena.
Lefton said work crews have been harassed in the middle of the night by teams of supervisors bursting into control rooms trying to find policy violations among the work force.
Union members addressed the corporate board of directors, which stated that this is the first time it had heard these allegations. The directors assured the group they will be addressing the concerns, but gave no timeline for doing so.
The union sent a letter today to Dr. William Butler, chairman of the board of directors of Lyondell and chancellor of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. PACE Administrative Vice President James E. Pannell asked to meet with Dr. Butler to begin to address these and other problems that continue to destroy the relationship between PACE and refinery management.
PACE International Union, headquartered in Nashville, represents over 320,000 workers in the paper, oil, chemical, atomic, kaolin, pharmaceutical, auto parts and corn milling industries. Website: www.paceunion.org.
Source: PACE International Union
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