Nigeria: Union alleges exploitation of contract workers at Shell including anti-union activity, poverty wages, poor health & safety
A new report by IndustriALL has alleged exploitation of contract workers at Shell oil and gas operations in Nigeria. Allegations include poverty wages, anti-union activity, health & safety hazards and inadequate living conditions.
We asked Shell to respond it said: "We are looking into the allegations from IndustriALL and will respond to them directly in due course." The full response is below.
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A new report from a fact-finding mission by IndustriALL Global Union has revealed the shocking exploitation of contract workers at Shell oil and gas operations in Nigeria. The report documents poverty wages, abuse through contracts, fundamental rights violations, poor healthcare, health and safety hazards and miserable living conditions of Shell’s Nigerian workers...Salaries among the workers ranged from US$137 to US$257 per month, working 12 hours a day, six days a week. Some workers said that they had not been paid by their contractors for several months. Workers said Shell determines what they get paid by contractors, but their appeals to Shell for better wages are ignored: “If you ask for a pay rise, you will be escorted out by police. And then your job is finished. No more access to the yard until you sign something saying you will not join a union and you will not ask for a pay rise,” said one worker...At its AGM in May, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said it is not financially viable to give contract workers permanent jobs, as they are not needed all the time. But this belies what workers told IndustriALL...Many contract workers complained that their healthcare insurance provider (HMO) was inadequate...
IndustriALL Global Union calls on Shell to intervene immediately at Nigerian operations to guarantee decent working conditions
On 18 September, the mission visited the SPDC-operated Umuebulu-Etche Flow Station in the outskirts of Port Harcourt, giving an opportunity to speak to around 20 contract workers at the plant. Contract workers in Shell uniforms were eager to have their voices heard. The workers complained of living in poverty, lack of job security, stagnant wages, long hours, inadequate medical care, poor health and safety, and anti-union discrimination. (These grievances were echoed by participants at a workshop with NUPENG and PENGASSAN members the following day.)...
Shell is committed to respecting human rights as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization core conventions. Our human rights approach is informed by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and applies to all of our employees and contractors. We embed this into our existing policies, systems and practices.
We are looking into the allegations from IndustriAll and will respond to them directly in due course.
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