Third time is a charm for Local 11

After calling the building trades for help two years in a row, Exxon goes 100% union

TWICE MEMBERS OF Local 11 (Helena, Mont.) were called to the Exxon/Mobil refinery in Billings, Mont., to complete projects started by nonunion crews because the owner was dissatisfied with the work. The third time around, the company decided to award the entire job to the union.

“There was a turnaround in the fall of 2006 and another in Nov-Dec of 2007. These had been awarded to open-shop contractors that did poorly,” reports L-11 Pres. Bob Winger. “The Southeastern Montana Building Trades came in both times and helped out, even though we did not get the bulk of the work.”

But in 2008, Exxon decided to skip the open-shop contractors and assign all of the work to the building trades. “This SCR project involved some heavy rigging over a live FCC [fluid catalytic cracking] unit with extremely tight clearances,” Winger said. “I believe that the spirit of cooperation and craftsmanship tipped the decision to award the entire SCR project to a union contractor. Being helpful to the customer really paid off.”

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