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Shell’s Dutch workers threaten to strike over pensions

Forbes/AFX News Limited: Shell’s Dutch workers threaten to strike over pensions

“Workers of the Royal Dutch Shell PLC in the Netherlands have threatened to strike over planned changes in the group’s pension scheme.”: “Industry followers are worried that the strike, should it proceed, will shut Shell’s major facilities, including the 416,000-barrel-per-day Pernis refinery, the Groningen gas field, and the Moerdijk chemical plant.”

Wednesday 26 October 2005

LONDON (AFX) – Workers of the Royal Dutch Shell PLC in the Netherlands have threatened to strike over planned changes in the group’s pension scheme.

Dutch trade unions led by CNV and FNV have agreed to strike next week if Shell insists on implementing a plan to raise the retirement age of employees and force workers to contribute to their pensions.

The proposed reforms are to take effect on Jan 1 next year.

‘We gave Shell an ultimatum that by 6 pm on Oct 31, if they don’t give in to our demand (to drop the proposed changes), there’ll be a strike,’ a CNV spokeswoman told AFX News.

The planned strike will also affect NAM, the 50-50 joint venture of Shell and Exxon Mobil Corp, she said.

Shell, in a statement, said it ‘regrets’ the unions’ rejection of the proposed changes to the scheme.

‘Shell believes that following constructive talks with the Central Staff Council (COR), a very competitive new pension scheme with good transitional measures is on the table,’ it said.

Industry followers are worried that the strike, should it proceed, will shut Shell’s major facilities, including the 416,000-barrel-per-day Pernis refinery, the Groningen gas field, and the Moerdijk chemical plant.

Groningen, operated by NAM, is Europe’s biggest onshore gas field.

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