Exxon seeking temporary workers for Beaumont, Texas, refinery during lockout -sources

The logo of Exxon Mobil Corporation is shown on a monitor above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, December 30, 2015/File Photo

HOUSTON, April 26 (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) is looking for temporary workers for its Beaumont, Texas, refinery beginning in May when it has threatened to lock out 650 workers at the plant, sources familiar with the search said on Monday.

Exxon told the United Steelworkers union (USW) last week that hourly employees - employees paid by the hour who are entitled to overtime - will be locked out of their jobs at the refinery if there is not a new contract agreement by Saturday.

An Exxon spokeswoman was not immediately available to discuss the company's plans to operate the refinery after a lockout is in place.

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Exxon has circulated a notice for at least 40 process operators with two years' experience to work at the Beaumont refinery for three months, the sources said.

"The roles are only initially short term and will require individuals to start on May 10th until August," according to a copy of the notice seen by Reuters.

Process operators manage major units and key processes in a refinery.

Exxon said on Friday it issued the lockout notice after three-and-a-half months of talks with USW Local 13-243 "to ensure our facilities continue to operate safely," said company spokeswoman Julie King.

The lockout notice was issued after the Steelworkers offered a one-year extension to a six-year pact agreed to in 2015, said Darrell Kyle, president of Local 13-243.

"These negotiations are not about wages," Kyle said in a statement on Monday. "Our greatest concern is making sure our lives and our jobs are safe and secure."

The lock-out would bar 650 workers from entering the 369,024 barrel-per-day (bpd) Beaumont refinery and adjoining blending and packaging plant.

In addition to seeking temporary workers, Exxon has also been training managers and engineers from around the United States to take over operating the refinery.

Companies can legally employ temporary workers during a strike or lockout.

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Reporting by Erwin Seba Editing by Chris Reese

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