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Shell workers face pay freeze, layoffs, job cuts and bonus suspension?

By John Donovan

The article in Dutch printed below is from a Shell magazine – Shell World NL of 03.2009 – delivered last week to Shell employees and retirees in the Netherlands. It announces that some staff will not receive a yearly increase in salary – the general salary round is being frozen for some Shell employees because of the deep economic downturn. 

I understand this means there is a possibility that similar people working in the same room will get a different pay increase. If correct, then there is concern the pain will not be evenly spread. 

Former Royal Dutch Shell Executive, Paddy Briggs, has kindly provided a rough translation printed below the Dutch article.

There is also unrest among contractors on the Shell led Sakhalin 2 project in Russia regarding possible suspension of the end of contract bonus programme and other cost cutting measures.  We understand that staff members are already planning to seek legal advice with talk of class action litigation being undertaken if the agreed bonus is not paid. Basically the situation appears very uncertain with both expat and national staff apparently being laid off in growing numbers. 

What’s the betting that the greedy ruthless individuals at the top of Shell e.g. Linda Cook, Malcolm Brinded and Peter Voser, will not be surrendering their golden handcuff payments irrespective of the hard times ahead? 

THE SHELL WORLD ARTICLE 

“MOEILIJK MAAR NOODZAKELIJK BESLUIT”

“Het was zeker geen eenvoudige beslissing. Maar nu het economische tij drastisch is gekeerd en de vooruitzichten somber zijn, krilgt ook Shell in Nederland te maken met andere omstandigheden.  Daarop moeten we voorbereid zijn.”

Aldus president-directeur Peter de Wit naar aanleiding von het besluit om dit jaar de algemene salarismaatregel achterwege te laten. De maatregel geldt voor de collega’s die niet onder een cao vallen in de salarisgroepen 15 tot en met B.

De Wit kan zich voorstellen dat niet elke medewerker het bericht met instemming heeft begroet. “Het Shell Nederland leadership Team heeft lang gesproken over de maatregel, maar toch gemeend deze loonmatiging in het licht van de economische omstandigheden toe te passen. Een pleister op de wonde is dat het inflatiecijfer dit jaar veel lager zal zijn dan aanvankelijk gedacht.”

Hij wijst op het feit dat de ‘salaristeller’ voor de meesten dit jaar niet op nul zal blijven staan. In maart volgt de toekenning van de prestatieperiodieken (merits) en de bedrijfsprestatiebonus die voor 2008 op 1,25 staat. “De BPF is het resultaat van de uitstekende prestatie van het bedrijf in het afgelopen jaar waarvan we allemaal profiteren.”Cvl.

*PADDY BRIGGS TRANSLATION

John

Here is my coloquial translation of this Dutch:

A difficult but a necessary decision

“It was certainly not an easy decision. But in the drastic and damaged economic times in which we are placed, with a sombre outlook, Shell has also to deal with different circumstances. We must be prepared.” So spoke President-Director Peter de Wit commenting on the decision to freeze salaries – this applies to all employees who are not covered by a CAO and who are in Salary Groups 15 to B.

De Wit imagines that not all employees will have greeted this announcement with a welcome. “The Leadership team of Shell have discussed this decision at some length, but have still decided in the light of the economic circumstances to go ahead with it. A “Band Aid” on the wound is that inflation this year will be much lower than was originally thought”.

He said that the salary change this year for most employees will not be zero. In March the merit increase and the bonus for 2008 stands at 1.25%. “The BPF [Bonus] is the result of excellent results by the company in the last year from which we all benefit”.

Recent related articles

Shell gets tough on costs as oil prices bite” published on 30 January 2009

Shell eyes Mideast growth, to cut some jobs” published on 9 February 2009

Shell to stall hires, and get “ruthless” on contractors published on 12 February 2009

 

1 Comment on “Shell workers face pay freeze, layoffs, job cuts and bonus suspension?”

  1. #1 Paddy Briggs
    on Mar 14th, 2009 at 16:47

    John

    Here is my coloquial translation of this Dutch:

    A difficult but a necessary decision

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