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Chevron workers in Bangladesh protest against layoffs

2 December, 2016Chevron, one of the world’s major oil corporations and the biggest foreign direct investor in Bangladesh, has dismissed 145 workers in its Bangladesh operations, as the company plans to sell its assets in the country.

Workers laid off by Chevron in Dhaka demonstrated against the company’s intention to sell its assets in Bangladesh, and demanded their jobs back.

Most of those laid off are precarious workers. According to workers, of the 500 people employed by Chevron, only 37 had a permanent contract.

For almost a decade numerous appeals to management to regularize all workers were met with disregard and intimidation. When Chevron workers formed a union in April 2015, they were denied formal union registration, allegedly after Chevron’s intervention.

Workers then approached the labour court to get union recognition and to make the work contracts permanent. Chevron management responded with union busting; stopping officials from the proposed union at the company gates to let them know they were made redundant.

Around 50 workers have been terminated with no prior notice, some even being told through a text message to their mobile phones.

After the workers’ demands were rejected by the high court, Chevron went on to fire more than 85 workers.

Diana Junquera Curiel, IndustriALL energy director, says:

It is unacceptable that Chevron continues to ignore the demands of their workers, some of whom have worked for the company for more than a decade.

We demand that Chevron make the workers permanent employees and respect their right to form a union, according to Bangladesh’s labour law.