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Shell contract workers to lose out in profits bonanza

1 February, 2018As Royal Dutch Shell Plc announces its biggest profits since the oil market collapse, IndustriALL Global Union is calling on the company to create permanent jobs for its workforce, the majority of which are contract workers.

The oil and gas giant posted profits of US$13 billion for 2017 on 1 February, up from US$4.5bn in 2016.

“Shell has promised shareholders a cash dividend on their stocks, but the 190,000 contract workers at Shell operations across the world can’t even get a secure job,” said Kemal Özkan, assistant general secretary of IndustriALL, which represents 50 million workers in energy, mining and manufacturing sectors.

Contract workers outnumber permanent workers at Shell by more than two to one. The company’s latest figures showed 190,000 contract workers compared to 85,000 permanent employees.

By the company’s own admission, contractors are doing the most dangerous jobs and suffer more injuries and fatalities at Shell.

In Iraq, temporary workers are toiling longer hours in life-threatening temperatures, while in Pakistan contract workers are made to work 12 instead of 8-hour shifts, 6 days a week with no benefits.

Indirect workers at Shell are being laid off in Nigeria with one month’s salary, some of whom have worked at the company for 25 to 30 years.

“We call on Shell to drop its policy of precarious work and take full responsibility for all its workers. Shell depends on contract workers, and contract workers should be able to depend on Shell. They have a right to permanent jobs and a secure future,” asserted Kemal Özkan.