By John Donovan
We were recently contacted by an association representing former workers at a Shell/Basf Chemicals factory in Brazil.
The factory was built in 1977 by Shell. Dozens of former employees of the plant have been diagnosed with prostate, thyroid and other types of cancer, circulatory, liver and intestinal illnesses, as well as infertility and sexual impotence.
In August 2010, the two companies were ordered to pay a total of 490 million euros in fines and damages for the workers exposure to toxic substances. The defendant companies have appealed to successively higher courts, initially trying to get the verdict overturned and after that failed, are seeking to have the awarded sum reduced. This process is dragging on with no end in sight. The plaintiffs claim that the defendants have influence in high places.
The workers cannot afford to travel to the Shell AGM to make their case and would like to know if any sympathetic, articulate Shell shareholder of high principle, would kindly offer to raise the matter on their behalf. One person in particular comes to mind as a candidate.
We have now received a PowerPoint presentation for which a non-professional translation of several pages has been kindly provided:
COMPLETE PRESENTATION AVAILABLE ON REQUEST