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Shell News Update Wednesday 7 June 2017

Shell Must Face ‘Take-Home’ Asbestos Suit, Calif. Court Says: LAW360: 6 June 2017

A California appeals court has reversed itself and revived a lawsuit against Shell Oil Co. filed by a former employee’s wife who alleges she contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos that accumulated on her husband’s work clothing.

Norwegian Union Threatens Strike at Statoil, Shell, Eni Platforms: The New York Times: 6 June 2017

Lederne, the smallest of the three Norwegian unions representing oil industry workers, said the strike would target platforms at Eni’s Goliat, Shell’s Draugen and Statoil’s Kvitebjoern, Oseberg East and Gudrun fields. “We believe it would mean shutting down production on those platforms,” a spokesman for the union said. read more

Benzene exposure risks and the Norwegian Oil and Gas Industry

By Bill Campbell, retired Shell International HSE Group Auditor

Benzene exposure risks and the Norwegian Oil and Gas Industry

Just some related background that may be of interest in the debate about this subject re health and safety at the Nyhamma gas plant et al.

The Petroleum Safety Authority in Norway were concerned enough about health aspects of benzene exposure that it held a meeting of experts on the subject in 2015 including representatives of the industry*, Norske Shell does not appear to be on the participants list!

Suffice to say PSA had a general concern that much more needed to be done re the prevention of exposure to Benzene in the industry and they would be including this concern looking for improvements in their future audits and inspections. read more

A/S Norske Shell Secret Meeting With Whistleblower 

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. read more

Shell Upstream Director Admits Culture of Fear Among Shell Employees

By John Donovan

Shell Upstream director Rich Denny has tacitly acknowledged a culture of fear among Shell employees at the Nyhamna gas plant in Norway. He claims that although it is not the dominant culture, he cannot dismiss that some Shell employees apparently do feel afraid to speak up.

The admissions were contained in another message from Rich Denny published on the Shell web which is Shell’s response to the report commissioned and published by the SAFE Union. The comments from Mr Denny can only be construed as a comprehensive attack on the integrity, content and findings of the SAFE report. read more

Disillusioned Shell Whistleblower Runar Kjoersvik

We have published a series of articles about Runar Kjoersvik, the Norwegian safety expert who in 2014 was dismissed by Shell on trumped-up charges.

Evidence was gathered in a covert surveillance operation as part of a vicious campaign conducted against him by Shell Norway senior management.

Runar was twice elected by his fellow workers, first as a SAFE Union representative and subsequently as the Main Safety Delegate.

His election was not a fluke. The employees who elected him at the Nyhamna Gas Plant in Norway knew Runar was fully qualified. He had attended several Norwegian law and HSE courses where he learnt how to protect legal rights according to rules, regulations and Norwegian Law. He also earned a diploma of strategic leadership from college university. read more

LEAKED EMAIL FROM SHELL MD TOR ARNESEN ABOUT SHELL SPYING ON ITS OWN EMPLOYEES

Displayed below is a leaked email about Shell spying activities sent last month by Tor Arnesen (above), the Managing Director of A/S Norske Shell, who knows a trick or two.

It was addressed to Roy Erling Furre, a Vice Chairman of the SAFE Union in Norway. He had requested a meeting to discuss concerns about Shell’s monitoring of trade union activities in Norway. Extract from the SAFE letter dated 2 February that triggered the emailed response:

To what extent is the use of surveillance using email, internet traffic, photography, filming, Facebook surveillance, espionage with agents and other agents. read more

Web Attack on Whistleblower by Shell Upstream Director

By John Donovan

This article incorporates comments I have made previously about a web-based attack that a senior Shell executive made on a Norwegian whistleblower, Runar Kjørsvik. Until 2014, Runar was the elected Main Safely Delegate for the SAFE Union at the Nyhamna Gas Plant in Norway. 

On 31 January 2017, three years later, Shell published internally on the Shell web “A MESSAGE FROM RICH DENNY” – an Upstream Director of Shell International. It was a sly cowardly attack on Mr Kjørsvik, who was not named. A copy of the relevant Shell web page can be seen below.  read more

Employees Exposed to Benzene Contamination at Shell Nyhamna Gas Plant

An investigation by the safety division at the Shell Nyhamna Gas Plant in Norway discovered that many employees carried out maintenance in areas where Benzene concentration was far over the limit for required safety gear, such as over-pressured fresh air mask, and total body protection. The investigation found that from October 2007 until September 2014 Shell had not enforced Norwegian law requiring systematic chemical monitoring. Benzene is carcinogenic to humans, and no safe level of exposure can be recommended.  read more

SHOW TRIAL OF A SHELL NORWAY SAFETY REP

The current hardline regime at the Nyhamna gas plant seems determined to intimidate its employees. 150 of them were ordered to attend for this purpose so that they could witness the entire cringe-making spectacle.

By John Donovan

I briefly mentioned in an earlier article an unusual meeting held in a canteen located within the Shell Nyhamna Gas Plant in Norway. 

It seems to have been some kind of show trial with evidence only being presented by the prosecutors – belligerent senior Shell managers who had already reached a guillotine verdict on the accused party, Runar Kjørsvik.

The plant manager Trond Lofstad read from a pre-prepared indictment. A non-professional translation can be read here.

The current hardline regime at the gas plant seems determined to intimidate employees. 150 of them were ordered to attend for this purpose so that they could witness the entire cringe-making spectacle. read more

Informers regime at Shell Nyhamna Gas Plant

In my recent article “Climate of fear at Shell Nyhamna Gas Plant in Norway” I made reference to a 144-page survey report commissioned by the SAFE union.

According to the survey report, Shell has introduced a company policy of encouraging a culture of informants. This policy is in force at Shell Nyhamna Gas Plant. In fact, Shell employees of “most of the group” are required to observe and inform on one another. Seems incredible, but apparently it is true. A witch hunt culture totally at odds with Shell’s claimed ethical code.  read more

Shell trying to ignore media firestorm in Norway

Another major article (above) was published in Norway yesterday about the deteriorating relationship between employees and management at the Nyhamna Gas Plant in Norway. The serious problems have been confirmed by independent research carried out by academics commissioned by the SAFE union.

Shell Upstream director Rich Denny (right) was at the plant yesterday desperate to dampen down the flames ignited by the persecution and dismissal of Runar Kjørsvik, the former Main Safety Delegate of the SAFE union. Like an Ostrich, Rich apparently hopes that if he sticks his head in the snow for long enough, the allegations of bullying and spying on employees will go away. Not actually a good idea to leave your corporate backside exposed. Who knows what some disgruntled current or former employee might do! read more

Climate of fear at Shell Nyhamna Gas Plant in Norway

Runar Kjørsvik, the former Main Safety Delegate elected by colleagues at the huge Nyhamna Gas Plant operated by Shell was recently honoured with the 2017 Zola Award at the Norwegian Nobel Institute Exhibition Hall for defending the interests of Shell employees. 

By John Donovan

SHELL MANAGEMENT PERSECUTION OF UNION SAFETY DELEGATE RUNAR KJORSVIK

This is the first in a series of articles about the astonishing story of Shell senior management’s evil persecution of Runar Kjørsvik, the Norwegian elected by his fellow workers as the Main Safety Delegate of the SAFE union at the huge Nyhamna Gas Plant operated by Royal Dutch Shell. He (and his family) ended up being the subjects of a surveillance operation. Shell has the photographs to prove it. Runar was ultimately dismissed. read more

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