Chemical workers in Texas overcome union busting to join the USW

Workers at Nouryon Functional Chemicals in La Porte, Texas, overcame a vicious anti-union campaign, voting on Mon., Feb. 6, to join the USW.

Felipe Venegas, a production operator, spoke widely to his coworkers in preparation for the vote. A 15-year veteran of the company, Venegas said management tried doing everything in their power to weaken the campaign.

“The company hired a union-busting firm who wined and dined us, and they added even more workers into the potential bargaining unit to try to saturate the vote,” Venegas said. “It didn’t work, and now everyone on site, from production operators to maintenance and logistics workers, is part of the union.”

Venegas said he is looking forward to fighting for a first contract and is up for any challenge the company tries to throw at the workers next.

“We just want to be treated like adults and get fair pay,” he said. “I’m excited to have the structure and respect that comes with a union.”

The 78 employees on site produce metal alkyls for the polymer and pharmaceutical industries, among others, and are now officially members of USW District 13.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-6961

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222