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Open Letter to Jake Molloy, General Secretary of The Offshore Union

Good morning Mr Molloy

I would like to draw to your attention the results of a survey carried out among BP workers regarding safety.

Houston Chronicle: BP’s own audit finds big lapses in management (*Bill Campbell will be interested in this article)

Is it possible that your union could carry out a similar survey among Shell offshore workers? It would not cost much, but the results could be very revealing (and newsworthy!). All you would need to do is devise a simple survey (perhaps three yes/no questions) which participants could complete and mail to an independent solicitor who could open the envelopes and calculate and verify the results in your presence.  Done in this way, the results would have credibility without costing a small fortune.

e.g.

Q. In your opinion does Shell management put production and profits before worker lives?

Q. Do you believe or disbelieve the allegations of safety record falsification made by Bill Campbell in his then capacity as Group Auditor of Shell International?

Q. Should Malcolm Brinded, the overpaid incompetent Managing Director of Shell Expro in 1999, who allegedly ignored the safety related warnings of Bill Campbell, resign, bearing in mind the tragic deaths on Brent Bravo in 2003? 

Of course you might wish to make the questions rather more impartial than in my draft question 3. I have had some dealings with Mr Brinded, who turned a blind eye to irrefutable documentary evidence of corrupt practices at Shell which I supplied to him, so I do tend to get carried away when mentioning his name. 

We would love to publish the results of the proposed survey.

For your information, we did carry out some surveys about Shell management ethics before the reserves fraud. This was done under the auspices of the “Shell Corporate Conscience Pressure Group”, which we founded over a decade ago.

The inspiration for the name of the pressure group arose from an article in the September 1994 issue of the Shell “Chairman’s Bulletin” sent to Shell shareholders, which claimed a culture of “corporate conscience” at Shell (excuse me while I laugh).

Our membership included Shell suppliers, Shell shareholders and Shell retailers – amazingly nearly 15% of Shell UK retailers joined the pressure group. Several hundred Shell retailers participated in our “business ethic” surveys about Shell. We published the results in successive monthly whole page notices in the forecourt trade press. All responses were opened under the supervision of an independent solicitor who provided an Affidavit verifying the results, which were devastatingly bad for Shell.

89% of respondents said that they would not recommend any petrol retailer considering a brand change to switch to Shell. 

75% of the Shell stations that participated were of the opinion that Shell was unethical, incompetent, and greedy. 

Shell never did take up our challenge to commission and publish the results of independent research, using precisely the same questions and offering respondents GUARANTEED anonymity. 

We also received many letters from Shell stations complaining bitterly about the business practices of Shell.

Here is a selection of quotes from some of the letters: –

“Extremely bad company”

“I believe the current regime is totally immoral”

“We have serious concerns about Shell’s ethical conduct”.

“The fickle nature and lack of honour within our negotiations were a shock to ourselves coming from a large company…  We would hope this letter may help you and serve as a warning to others contemplating any form of activity with this company”.

“You are not alone in being steamrollered by this company”.

It is fair to say under the circumstances that there is nothing new about Shell management having little or no regard for its employees (and for people with whom it does business). 

This attitude is of course totally at odds with the core principles of Shell’s Statement of General Business Principles which are cleary designed to fool the gullible into believing Shell management is honest and honourable, when the reverse is the case, based on its atrocious track record: plunder and pollution in the Nigerian Delta, the Brent Bravo scandal, Sakhalin II cost overrun, the reserves fraud, imprisonment of Corrib pipeline opponents, persecution of Dr John Huong, sale of tainted gasoline, the class action law suits brought against Shell by its own employees e.g. “Team A” – a group of 399 current/former Shell employees in Malaysia. There are many other examples.

Regards
John Donovan

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