Photo: Bloomberg Photo By Andrey Rudakov LyondellBasell has launched contract talks with 483 union workers at its Houston oil refinery, roughly three years after they and thousands of other refinery workers walked off the job in a national strike. Members of United Steelworkers Local 13-227 held a rally outside LyondellBasell's Houston refinery last week the day before the union and petrochemical company started contract talks, the company confirmed. The current contract started in 2015 and expires Jan. 31, according to the company. "While it would be inappropriate to comment on the specifics of the meetings or discussions at this point, I can tell you we look forward to continuing our positive relationship with the USW and working in good faith with the union to come to an agreement," Chevalier Gray, spokeswoman with LyondellBasell said in an email. BIG INVESTMENT: LyondellBasell advances $3 billion in Gulf Coast projects A union official told Reuters that the company's initial proposal was "concessionary and far from acceptable to the union" but that the local remains committed to reaching a deal. The new contract would be combined with a national contract that USW International representatives will negotiate in January with Shell Oil Co, which will represent several refinery and chemical plant owners. The national contract expires Feb. 1. In 2015, thousands of steelworkers went on a national strike during the last round of contract talks with chemical plant and refinery owners. The stoppage included some 6,500 workers at 15 facilities and 12 refineries nationwide, including LyondellBasell's in Pasadena, Shell Deer Park Refinery in Deer Park, Shell Deer Park Chemical Plant, Marathon's Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas City and Marathon's Cogeneration and Motiva. Even after a national contract was approved in mid-March 2015, disputes over local issues kept workers off the job in several locations. It took three months for LyondellBasell workers to approve a contract and return to work then.