On Friday 27 January 2017, a meeting took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel at Oslo Airport. It was attended by two senior Shell directors, Tor Arnesen and Odin Estensen, respectively the Managing Director and Chairman of N/S Norske Shell. They met with former Shell employee/whistleblower Runar Kjørsvik, together with Hilde Marit Rysst and Roy Erling Furre, both representing the SAFE Union.
The purpose of the meeting was to find a solution to the various issues raised by Mr Kjørsvik and SAFE, including the surveillance/monitoring of Shell employees at the Nyhamna gas plant and their health and safety.
Arnesen and Estensen claimed to be unaware of certain sensitive matters and made encouraging noises and constructive suggestions. The meeting ended on a positive note.
However, instead of pursuing an honourable path in the best interests of employees, Shell decided on a character assassination via the Shell web. Shell published comments a few days later on 31 January 2017 alluding to Mr Kjørsvik in his former capacity as the Mail Safety Delegate. The fact that the high-level meeting had just taken place was not revealed. I assume that this was because of a fear that it would undermine the veracity of what was stated in the defamatory comments about him.
How would it look if everyone knew that more than two years after his dismissal, Shell was still taking Runar Kjørsvik and his allegations very seriously indeed? If this was not the case, the meeting would not have taken place.
Why would these top people at Shell have met him personally if they really gave any credence to the findings of a so-called Fact Survey carried out by third parties hired by Shell, including an agent who engaged in covert spying activities on behalf of Shell?
Mr Kjørsvik was shocked by the conduct of Messrs Arnesen and Estensen in giving a positive constructive impression in the meeting and then doing a volte face by authorising the Rich Denny web attack just days later. Runar had thought that they were men of high integrity.
How, in such circumstances, would the withholding by Shell of the fact that a high-level meeting had taken place be most accurately described? A cover-up? Misrepresentation? Deception? Or deliberate misleading by being economical with the truth?