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Joint Statement by Shell Stanlow refinery parties

Joint Statement from Shell, Essar and the Employee Representatives from the consultation meeting held 14th March 2011

Shell and Essar management have today formally met for the second time to consult with the employee representatives for Stanlow refinery and the associated marketing businesses.

This has included sessions with both non-unionised and unionised representatives on general terms and conditions (as outlined at the first meeting) plus a joint session on pensions.

In response to concerns raised on pensions, Essar recognised the value that Stanlow employees attach to the pension provision and have revised their defined benefit pension proposals.  These now provide for the replication of the Shell pension benefits in the Essar pension plan, so that existing staff will retain their current pension benefits.

Essar also confirmed that the terms and conditions package offered to employees including employee benefits will remain unchanged for a minimum period of 2 years.

Shell said that as a result of the significantly improved pension proposal, the discretionary 4 months transition bonus proposal would now be taken off the table, and reviewed by Shell.

Unite and the non union representatives made a joint response. They welcome the commitment to the final salary pension scheme that provides mirror image benefits to the Shell schemes with no detriment to the existing members of the pension scheme.  However, both groups have requested that Shell/Essar continue to provide a final salary pension scheme for all employees, including new starters. They have also requested that consideration is given to the following:–

  • A 50/50 split on the pension trustee board with an independent chair.  Essar confirmed their willingness to provide a 50/50 split and that one of the trustees would be independent;
  • Ill health benefit protection for deferred pensioners.  Essar agreed to discuss this point with Shell and revert
  • That the status quo of pension provision at Shell Stanlow remains as is, without the introduction of a defined contribution scheme. Essar agreed in response to remove the defined contribution proposal as an option for existing employees but that it would be retained for new starters.

It is the intention of the Unionised group to hold a general meeting on Tuesday 22nd March at 6pm in the canteen to give feedback on these proposals.

Essar and Shell also confirmed that they would formally respond on all other key questions and points of feedback raised at the sessions.  This will be done as soon as possible to enable the employee representatives to provide full feedback to their constituents.

In the meantime, individual questions can be raised either through the employee representatives, or via the Q&A facility on the Strategic Review website.

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