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stuff.co.nz: Call for boycott of Shell

LEIGHTON KEITH
[email protected] – Taranaki | Saturday, 1 September 2007

New Plymouth business owner Greg Barley is boycotting Shell and urges all Taranaki residents to follow suit.

Mr Barley cancelled his petrol accounts with Shell in protest over the petrol company’s treatment of Gordon and Karen Mace, the owners of Junction Service Station at Awakino.

“Mr heart goes out to this hard-working family, who have put so much into their business and built up the asset value, only to be kicked in the guts by Shell,” he said.

This week the oil industry giant confirmed it would not renew its supply contract with the Maces, forcing them to close their business of 16 years.

Mr Barley, who is in the construction business, said he would no longer be spending $1000 a month with Shell to keep his fleet running.

He wants other business owners and the public to do the same.

“I for one will not be supporting a company that is so profit driven that it does not see the impact that it has on their customers’ lives and the community as a whole. I hope others see it the same way.

“It is a small thing that we can do to look after a small business in Awakino.”

Mr Barley said the service station was an oasis in the outback and Mr Mace was not only the saviour for many motorists low on fuel. He had also towed many stranded, crashed or broken down motorists to safety over the years.

At the very least, Mr Barley believes Shell should sell the tanks to the Maces for a nominal amount so they could continue trading, he said.

“It is not as if they don’t make much profit. It would be a spit in the ocean for a company of its size.”

The Royal Dutch Shell Group made a half-year profit of US$7 billion dollars, up 22% on the previous year.

Mr Barley said his gripe was not with Shell service station owners, but with the company itself.

Mrs Mace said they feel very humbled by the outpouring of support.

The business, which is open for 110 hours a week, has been on the market for a couple of years because they wanted a change, she said.

Shell’s decision not to renew the supply contact had now left them without a business to sell. “We were just gutted when we heard,” Mrs Mace said.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/dailynews/4185866a6002.html

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