By John Donovan
On 18 August, The Sunday Times published an article: “Essar bids for British oil refinery in Shell auction“. It revealed that “Essar, the Indian energy, steel and shipping group, has made a bid for Royal Dutch Shells Stanlow refinery at Ellesmere Port…”
After being contacted by Shell insiders and supplied with internal email correspondence, it has become plain to us that the “auction” provides another classic example of Shell senior management disdain for Shell employees: in this case 800 people.
Self-explanatory extracts from one Shell Stanlow insider who has contacted us…
“I must congratulate you on the depth of information provided on your website… It would appear that Shell are about to shaft their on shore employees in the same manner as your article on the disgraceful treatment of its North Sea oil workers and also its African staff. If the leak of information had not occurred I am sure that Shell would not have informed its staff until a sale had been made.”
We have confirmation from another Stanlow insider source that The Sunday Times article resulted from a leak and that the Stanlow workforce had no prior notice of any such announcement.
This is again confirmed in one of the related leaked Shell internal emails in our possession which reveal the depth of disgust at the turn of events.
The following is an extract from an email sent on 11 August by Lennert Klement of A/S Dansk Shell to senior Shell executives including Tom Botts, Shells Downstream Executive Vice President for Global Manufacturing and Hugh Mitchell, Chief Human Resources & Corporate Officer (and member of the Royal Dutch Shell Plc Executive Committee).
We are extremely upset that the above announcement was leaked to the press without any prior warning to the SEF and in particular to the delegates of the Manufacturing Work Group. It is despicable that the Stanlow workforce should hear about their future in the manner that this has occurred. What has happened to Honesty, Integrity and Trust, this is ” Shell Language ” often used by Management, it is with regret that none of this was apparent.
Klement is Chair of Shell European Forum National Trade Union Representative. The email was also sent to Dr. Agnus Cassens, Bjorn Lindberg, and Lia Belilos, all senior managers at Shell.
Comment from a Stanlow insider source:
“The main concerns of the Shell staff who will be impacted by a sale is the loss of their final salary pensions that have been built up over many years of service but will be adversely affected by not reaching full service due to the sale and the fact that all staff who do not currently have a window open cannot apply for other jobs within Shell and hence remain Shell employees but will be ring fenced and sold as commodities to the new owners.