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Shell Uganda employees block company sale

Thursday, February 23, 2012

By Andante Okanya

Four employees of petroleum giant Shell Uganda have asked the High Court in Kampala to block its alleged sale.

Anthony Ogalo (retail sales manager), Christine Busingye, Diana Kigozi, and Sam Bukenya say the company has deliberately refused to inform them about the details of its intended sale.

In the suit filed on February 21 through Barenzi and Company Advocates, the four workers contend that the company has not consulted them, as negotiations with potential investor continue.

The positions held by the three other plaintiffs, Busingye, Kigozi and Bukenya, is not indicated.

In April last year, parent company Royal Dutch Shell PLC boss Peter Voser announced that his company would exit 35% of its retail markets, which would see them close in 21 of its African subsidiaries, including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia and Botswana.

But the plaintiffs contend that their future is bleak, claiming the company is hiding vital information from its employees despite numerous requests from them [plaintiffs] to seek answers.

“The plaintiffs have on several occasions requested the defendant to involve them in the divesture of the said company but the defendant has since refused to involve them or to give them a hearing,” the plaintiffs contend.

They also assert that the “company has acted unfairly” by threatening to keep the plaintiffs out of the divesture process.

An affidavit sworn by Ogalo in support of the suit cites the laying off of staff at the company’s Information Technology department, saying it indicated that their future is uncertain.

The quartet also notes that as members of the Shell Uganda Staff Provident Trust Fund, their current predicament implies that they risk losing their saved funds.

“Having heavily invested savings into the Trust scheme with the respondent, it’s in jeopardy as we don’t know its fate after the divesture,” they say.

Accordingly, they want court to declare that the disposal or intended disposal without their consent is illegal or contrary to their contracts of employment and statutory provisions.



Angry Shell Ethiopia employees accuse Shell of discrimination and infringement of Human rights: 2 August 2008

Shell Employees in Africa Protest Against Being ‘Sold’ by Shell: 29 July 2008

Ethiopian employees accuse Shell of raiding retirement fund: 18 December 2007

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