Shell personnel do not have to work overtime for major maintenance at the Moerdijk location. The judge decided that in summary proceedings brought by the oil and gas giant. Refusing overtime is part of trade union actions by FNV and CNV in the call for a better collective agreement.

Shell was afraid of the safety of people and the environment in Moerdijk and asked the judge to stop the actions. Without overtime, maintenance could be delayed or even postponed, the company argued. According to the chemical giant, that could cost hundreds of millions of euros. The judge did not agree with Shell’s argument.

Trade unions and Shell cannot agree on a new collective agreement. The unions want a structural salary increase of 5 percent per year and a reduction in work pressure. Shell offers a lot less. The location in Pernis has also been discontinued. Last week, Shell announced that it would reduce the wages of striking employees.

Security risks

For the maintenance job in Moerdijk, in addition to the 400 employees of the factory, 2500 external employees were hired. According to Shell, they run security risks during the promotion. The lawyer for the company also referred to a letter from the Central and West Brabant Environment Agency, who expressed concerns about safety.

The trade unions argued that the safety risks are not as great as Shell wants to prevent. FNV lawyers told the court that the actions of employees obviously cost money.

But even if it costs hundreds of millions, that is just a little bit for Shell. It is David against Goliath. In addition, Shell can easily do something against these costs by making a good offer.

Maintenance stop

Shell emphasizes that the unions have promised the court to cooperate in the maintenance stop, with the only limitation that it is within the normal roster. The company is looking at what the consequences will be on the maintenance process.

The promotions at Shell will certainly last until Tuesday. According to FNV, a new consultation between the parties is planned. Shell points out that the invitation for the unions to continue talking stands.

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