17 January, 2017A Dutch trade unionist will be in court on 19 January, demanding that his dismissal after 31 years from the oil company NAM, in which Shell and Esso own 50 per cent respectively, be overturned. He was dismissed with immediate effect in October last year after being falsely accused of having spread sensitive information relating to the company's pension scheme.
With an extensive knowledge on pensions, Bob van Luijk, president of the FNV framework group at Shell and NAM, was involved in a FNV procedure in the Commission on Human Rights about possible age discrimination in Shell's new pension scheme. On 18 October 2016, he was fired with immediate effect from NAM after the company accused him of having leaked "sensitive information" from the Shell pension fund to the pension work group.
After having worked for 31 years at NAM, the dismissal means Bob van Luijk will not receive any severance pay and has no right to receive employment benefit, and has subsequently been without income for three months.
The case will be taken to court in Assen, Netherlands, on 19 January, where IndustriALL affiliate FNV will demand an instant overturn of the dismissal.
Mariëtte Patijn, director at FNV, says if the court upholds the dismissal it will mean that trade union officers are practically outlawed:
"This is a question of principle for us. It is outrageous that he has been dismissed with immediate effect for information that can be easily found on the internet. Many colleagues have shown massive support for van Luijk on Facebook and we will support our trade union officer in any possible way."
IndustriALL energy director Diana Junquera says that van Luijk must be reinstated immediately:
"We will continue to support our affiliate and their member and urge NAM to rectify their mistake."
FNV officer Leen van der List, chairman of the pension working group in which van Luijk participated says:
"By punishing Bob, a loyal employee who has served the company for 31 years, for his cooperation in the working group, Shell makes it impossible for trade union officers to work well in the future. This is no way to treat people who are committed to improve workers' rights."