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Shell’s undignified exit from Libya

By John Donovan

We have already published an article containing a leaked email purportedly sent on 14 June 2012 by disgruntled Shell Exploration & Production Libya staff to senior Shell managers. Shell claims that it is withdrawing from Libya because of a deteriorating security situation. It self-evidently prefers to do business with dictators (a policy stretching back to Hitler).

The disgruntled employees – 17 in total, are all members of Shell’s security staff in Libya.

We now have a Statement of Complaint signed by all 17, detailing serious allegations against Salah Alshaafi, the chief of the Shell Security team.

Salah Alshaafi is accused of being an agent of the Libyan security services . They say he has engaged in corruption, including misappropriation of funds meant for the security team and has used intimidation, including threats of imprisonment, to prevent Shell staff from speaking out. The complaint is said to be supported with evidence and witnesses.

Among the information supplied is a VIP Recruitment record apparently prepared when Shell was still buttering up the Gaddafi regime.

We also have an email sent today 16 June 2012 to a wide circulation list of Shell executives/employees concerning HR consequences of Shell’s departure from Libya.

From: [email protected]

To: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]
CC: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

Subject: Department Presentation Meetings
Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2012 07:56:46 +0000

Sent as an update to the previous invite:

Dear all,

In order to conduct our Department presentations on Severance packages safely and comfortably, the meetings will now be held at the Corinthia Hotel on June 24, 2012. Individual discussions to further explain the packages will also be held at the hotel on June 24, 2012. Exact timing of the meetings will be communicated to you later this week.

I hope this will not inconvenience any of you.

Kind regards,

Sana Sharafeddin

HR Manager

Shell Exploration & Production Libya GmbH

KM6.2 Gergaresh Road, Abunawas2

P.O.Box 91791

Tripoli, Libya

Mob:    +218912203940

Email:  [email protected]




Salah Alshaafi is invited to supply for publication here, on an unedited basis, any response he wishes to make to the allegations made against him.


I note that the company name as stated on the email published today is “Shell Exploration & Production Libya GmbH”

The GmbH (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung) suffix denotes that this is a German company (registered in Hamburg).

German employment laws are amongst the most inflexible in the world. Perhaps the Libyan staff should take their complaints to a German court – from the recent treatment accorded to the representatives of the International Criminal Court (and numerous other recent events) I’m not sure that the Libyan legal system has sufficient credibility to provide justice to those who need its protection (and especially those whose pockets are less deep than Shell’s).

A couple of quotes from

“German employment law is there to regulate relations between you and your employer. Of course, the law favors the employee and intends to protect him or her from unfair practices. You should know that all German employees must have written contracts with their employer. This is law in Germany. It includes contracts that show salary and benefits, starting date, place of performance and so on.”

“German employment law also regulates the rules of termination. You will be given maximum protection so you won’t be dismissed unfairly. Depending on how long you’ve been employed at the company, the employer will have to give you anywhere from four weeks to seven months notice. Be sure to check your employment contract as it will have been mutually agreed upon within your contract.”

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