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Dutch trade unionist wins case against Shell/NAM

2 March, 2017FNV executive member Bob van Luijk has won an unfair dismissal case against Shell/NAM.

Van Luijk was dismissed from Shell subsidiary NAM after 31 years of service after being accused of leaking sensitive information about the company’s pension scheme to the Dutch trade union confederation the Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging (FNV).

Van Luijk is an employee representative on the board of the pension fund, and had shared widely available information with other executive members and the FNV. The consequence of the dismissal would have been no redundancy pay or unemployment benefit.
The FNV, which is affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union, defended him. On Tuesday, the court in Assen ruled in his favour.
FNV director Henk Korthof said:
“We are delighted with this decision, for Bob, and for our whole executive. This is a matter of principle. Executive members must be able to do their union work and share relevant information with other members and the union – especially when the information is freely available on the internet!
“For us it’s simple: we will not accept attacks like this on our members.”
Van Luijk had intended to take up a generous voluntary severance package on 1 October 2016. However, he extended his service by three months because no replacement was found for him on the board of the pension fund. He was dismissed during this period, received no pay, and the redundancy offer expired.
The redundancy agreement of five pensionable years has now been reinstated, and NAM will pay three months salary to cover the period of his dismissal. The company will also pay €5,000 in compensation.
Diana Junquera Curiel, IndustriALL energy director, said:
“I am really happy to hear this good news about Bob, who is an honest, fair and hard working trade unionist. He is also a loyal NAM employee with 31 years of service, and the way the company treated him was disgraceful.”
On Wednesday the NAM CEO confirmed in a phone call to Van Luijk that the company will not be appealing the verdict.