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Shell’s abuse of workers exposed at London green-washing festival


IndustriALL Global Union is calling on Shell to respect the rights of hundreds and thousands of contract workers toiling at its operations around the world, as the company holds its annual green-washing festival in London. 

Shell’s Make The Future Live runs from 5 to 8 July at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and and is expected to attract up to 40,000 people. It aims to convince millennial audiences that Shell cares about their future. 

And yet, thanks to Shell’s unfair employment policies, near 200,000 contract workers at Shell have got no future –  working in temporary, insecure jobs. 

Contract workers outnumber permanent workers more than two to one at Shell, and as the company freely admits, do the most dangerous jobs. In Nigeria, unions say subcontractors working for Shell “pay whatever they like and sack at will.”

Shell outsourcing is putting workers and the public at risk. Last year, Shell was held responsible after 217 people died when a contracted tanker carrying fuel for Shell in Pakistan crashed and then exploded. 

Shell has poured millions into its #makethefuture campaign, recruiting popstars such as Pixie Lott and Jennifer Hudson to promote its token green energy policies. However, contract workers at Shell struggle on lower wages and face an uncertain future.

IndustriALL has launched an online petition on LabourStart demanding that Shell: 

  • limits precarious work and protects precarious workers’ rights at Shell;
  • respects commitments to international standards on the environment, communities and human rights; 
  • and applies the same health and safety standards at operations everywhere, including suppliers.  

Shell is refusing to negotiate with IndustriALL as a representative of workers at Shell worldwide, to ensure better rights for contract workers at its operations across the globe. 

IndustriALL’s assistant general secretary, Kemal Özkan, said:

“Shell is a global company, with global operations and a global human resources department, and yet it refuses to deal with IndustriALL on a global level. This is a concerted attempt to reduce workers’ power and prevent the majority of its workforce having an influence over their own working terms and conditions. As Shell holds its Make The Future festival, we urge the company to make a secure future for hundreds of thousands of workers it depends on.”  


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