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Bangladesh: IndustriALL calls for reinstatement of terminated Chevron workers

6 June, 2017IndustriALL calls on state oil company PETROBANGLA to intervene and ensure decent working conditions at Chevron Bangladesh.

Chevron, one of the world’s biggest oil corporations and the largest foreign direct investor in Bangladesh, terminated 148 workers in the past two years.

Chevron kept them as precarious workers for more than a decade, and terminated them when they demanded permanent jobs and the right to form a union.

Challenging Chevron’s unjust termination, over a hundred workers filed cases in the labour court seeking reinstatement.

Workers are deeply concerned as Chevron is now in the process of selling its assets to Himalaya Energy. Chevron has also threatened to fire its present staff, who demand that the company address employees’ concern before proceeding with the deal. Chevron’s exit without addressing workers’ concerns will have a major impact on the lives of workers and their family members.

To defend workers’ interests, IndustriALL Global Union has called on the state-owned Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation (PETROBANGLA) to make use of its right of first refusal over the sale of Chevron Bangladesh to Himalaya Energy, until Chevron settles all pending matters. This includes court cases, reinstatement of all dismissed workers, back compensation payments, and job security, for at least three years, in the new company.

Valter Sanches, general secretary of IndustriALL said,

“It is essential that PETROBANGLA intervene to guarantee that Chevron Bangladesh act in full accordance with national labour law, and international core labour standards.  In this regard, Chevron Bangladesh should fully inform and consult the workers, as well as engage in collective negotiations with the representative union to ensure a fair transition.”

The letter urged PETROBANGLA to help safeguard the fundamental rights of workers at Chevron Bangladesh, regardless of the future ownership of the company.