One of the modern shibboleths that businesses seem to worship is that of “contracting out” wherever possible – hire an outside contractor when you need to rather than managing that activity yourselves, especially when that activity is problematic in some way. But what if that activity is pretty crucial to your business and what, even more importantly, if it is crucial to your reputation?
Posts on ‘June 14th, 2008’
At the heart of the matter is Shells decision in the 1990s to outsource its tanker driver operations.
Shell’s insistence that it is not responsible for the bust-up between tanker drivers and the contractors it uses has not stopped it being dragged under the spotlight.
There are no quick fixes to soaring oil and food prices, Group of Eight finance ministers concluded on Saturday, although disagreements emerged about the role that speculators were playing in exacerbating price rises.
In Europe, where the tight credit market has caused less havoc than in the United States, fears are focusing on another economic bogeyman: a 1970s-style oil shock.
The move was seen as a sign that the Saudis are becoming increasingly nervous about both the political and economic effect of high oil prices. In recent weeks, soaring fuel costs have incited demonstrations and protests from Italy to Indonesia.
Hauliers want to force the government to lower fuel prices and tax, and harmonise the cost of diesel and petrol across Europe.
Motorists face the growing prospect of continuing fuel shortages after it emerged that a second wave of strikes by Shell tanker drivers is planned for next week.
Meanwhile, on the back of soaring oil prices, Shell is now making £1.3bn profit a month as its executives enthusiastically stuff their pockets on the back of it. Shell’s chief executive was paid £4.5m last year as average boardroom salaries increased 16%. The drivers, on the other hand, have been offered 7% by the two Shell contractors, Hoyer and Suckling Transport.
For generations, we’ve taken it for granted. But as prices soar and reserves dwindle, the time is fast approaching when mankind will have to live without oil. Are we ready to confront some really inconvenient truths?
It has long seemed to me that the only thing likely to bring the oil price back to earth is a global recession, and that is exactly what very high oil prices seem destined to bring about.
A strike by petrol tanker drivers started to bite yesterday as motorists were urged to stay calm and only drive if absolutely necessary. With the Army on standby and the prospect of a second action next week if talks fail again, hauliers supplying Shell stations walked out at 6am.
Meanwhile, the House has extended another invitation to the company to appear on Wednesday next week, failing which the Speaker, Martins Okonta, said “if they refuse to show up, we will now know that they are the ones instigating the Niger Delta militants.”
LONDON -(Dow Jones)- A scientific panel report released Friday revealed ongoing concerns that the Sakhalin-II oil and gas joint venture hasn’t complied with all of recommendations on the protection of the endangered Western Gray Whale.