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Fall out from Royal Dutch Shell flouting of discrimination ruling

During the meeting, the manager confirmed on behalf of Shell their intention not to comply with the ruling from the Equal Treatment Commission. The main reasons for the meeting/interrogation were to clarify:

1. Where did John Donovan get his information for the article?

3. Was there a security issue?

Above are extracts from this article by John Donovan

On 4 January, we revealed that Shell Global Solutions had decided “after careful consideration” to flout a ruling by the Dutch Commission for Equal Treatment, which confirmed discrimination by Shell against a part-time employee, Mr Alberto Gatti, regarding compensation relating to public holidays.

The decision has ramifications for over 1,100 Royal Dutch Shell employees.

Mr Gatti works four days per week for Shell, thereby receiving a 20% reduction of monthly salary compared with a full time employee. He brought the case on a point of principle. Namely, fair treatment between employees.

Shell HR argued that it was a matter of “bad luck” and “all in the game“, when a Dutch public holiday coincided with the only week day on which Mr Gatti does not work – Monday in his case. This means that Mr Gatti receives no compensatory day off in respect of Easter Monday and Whit Monday, while full time employees do.

Shell will save an estimated 600,000 EUR/per year as a result of the use of this blatant discrimination and blatant flouting of a judgement by the Dutch regulatory authority.

The publication of the article on this website caused a wave of concern at Shell.

Last week, just a few days after publication, Mr Gatti received a request for a meeting from a manager belonging to the CP (contracting and procurement), the business unit to which he belongs. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the article we published. The manager requested that he remain anonymous in order to respect his privacy. He did not want to be identified in any article.

During the meeting, the manager confirmed on behalf of Shell their intention not to comply with the ruling from the Equal Treatment Commission.

The main reasons for the meeting/interrogation were to clarify:

1. Where did John Donovan get his information for the article?

3. Was there a security issue?

2. If the source was Mr Gatti, could he arrange to have the names of the HR and legal people involved in the case deleted from the article.

Mr Gatti made it plain that he is not in a position of control over publication of articles on the RoyalDutchShellplc.com website, or disclosure of anything about the source of information supplied to me, which is almost entirely, already available on the Dutch Equal Treatment Commission website. He also pointed out that there are so many individuals involved in the discrimination issue from various departments, including HR and legal, that the source could be anybody.

Mr Gatti said that HR manager, Miss Jeanine van Barlingen, should not feel ashamed of the answer she had given in her letter, if she believes it is the best choice in line with Shell’s business principles. Why hide it?

Mr Gatti, who apparently is highly regarded in his department, must be concerned about the prospect of retaliation by Shell management as a result of the public exposure arising from Shell’s discrimination against him.

Shell in turn must be concerned about the consequence of any such retaliation/harassment, which would further publicize and inflame the whole situation.

One the one side is an individual arguing on a point of principle involving a very small sum per individual. On the other, a greedy oil giant raking in billions of dollars per quarter in profits from high oil prices, while evading moral and legal obligations in relation to anti-discrimination law. A company routinely hiding its predatory practices behind sham business principles used to bolster confidence in fraudulent Form 20F filings with the SEC.

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