POSTING ON SHELL BLOG BY CLAIRE.A
Wow, just stumbled on this site and blog. Whilst I’m impressed with the way it has been set up and maintained, I’m amazed by two aspects: Firstly, those of you who work for Shell and are seemingly so disgruntled, why not just walk? You must be so unhappy in what you do to resort to these postings – so why not show some conviction and leave? I have heard that people who work at Shell tend to forget what the real world is like, but you can just leave you know and rejoin the real world out here! Secondly, to the Donnovans, I’ve just read some of the background and understand some of the history, but really, when are you going to live your lives?? Do you really want you gravestones to just say “had a pop at Shell for most of my life”.
Response from Guest1
Dear claire.a, your solution is a bit simplistic. If everyone walked away from something they did not like, there would be a lot of walking and not much improvement. Shell employees indeed have lived very sheltered lives. But that was for a reason: to be able to concentrate on doing a good job and living by the Business Principles of the group. But now, as the Donovans rightly keep pointing out, Shell has got into the hands of many bad people and it is very difficult to have those replaced. You could walk away, but you could also try to change the system. It has become very dangerous in Shell to voice a differing opinion so the ideas naturally find other ways to vent the anger that exists. There always are people who always complain, do nothing and are just frustrated. But this site provides an excellent open forum for any views (good or bad!) and I hope in the end it helps sort out Shell so it becomes again the decent company it was in years gone by. And that would be a good epithaph for the Donovans: We devoted our lives to improve Shell.
Response from John Donovan
Claire, Shell employees can best answer your first question (one has done so above). I know from insiders that some are disgruntled because executive directors have for years been pretending that they work within the Shell ethical code when Shell’s track record, including a multibillion dollar securities fraud, proves otherwise. I guess some are hoping for a return to an honest, competent, hypocrisy free management, which does show respect for employees, as promised in the code. The signs are far from encouraging.
As to our own situation, we do get some real satisfaction from our hobby, because from time to time, we are able to assist parties who approach us. The content of the email I received in November 2008 from the leader of Shell Ethiopia employees is self-explanatory. Regarding the tombstone epitaph, I feel sure Mr Richard Wiseman, the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer of RDS Plc could make some suggestions. Alternatively former Shell/Sakhalin Energy Deputy Chairman General David Greer, is said to be good with words, unfortunately not always his own.
EMAIL FROM SHELL ETHIOPIA EMPLOYEES
Dear Mr. Donovan
Kind and warm greetings!
Today we have been advised by Shell Ethiopia Labour Union that the court case with Shell is settled through negotiation. We have forwarded the entire communication and scanned copy of the agreement in case you want to refer it. You will find it at the end of our message.
As per the agreement, Shell agreed to restore the previous early retirement scheme with some modification. The new scheme is the old scheme minus 4 months salary. We will use one of our collegues case (how he will be affected) to illustrate this:
- With the original (old) scheme he could have gotten up to 45 months salary,
- With the changed (new) scheme he would have gotten only 22 months salary.
- With the negotiated scheme, he would get 41 months salary
If you recall there were some employees that would lose as much as 70% due to the change in the scheme. Now this loss is reduced to 10%.
All affected employees in Shell Ethiopia highly recognize the role your web site played in promoting our cause. We strongly believe that this settlement would not have been possible had it not been for the intervention of your web site. For this, we would like to express our deepest gratitude on behalf of all Shell Ethiopia staff.
GOD bless and thank you again!
Shell Ethiopia employees