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Shell IT staff disgusted at mega profits

Union demands talks over job cut plans

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Union representatives for Royal Dutch Shell's IT workers demanded talks with the firm's top management yesterday over the outsourcing of up to 3,000 jobs at the oil giant.

The call came as Shell reported full-year earnings of £13.9bn – the biggest ever profit for a British company. The numbers prompted outrage amongst workers who were told a month ago that the firm was in talks with EDS and other companies about outsourcing as many as 3,000 jobs.

Unite regional officer Graham Tran told The Register that the Shell IT workforce in Aberdeen were "absolutely disgusted" with the firm's profits, as it left the future of thousands of IT workers in the balance.

Tran claimed that UK workers who expect to be affected by the job cull remained "in the dark" while their Dutch counterparts were in negotiation about their future with the oil giant.

"It's the usual Shell process in which they refuse to be upfront and tell everyone the open and honest truth," he said. "But they're not telling us anything and are instead busy lining the pockets of shareholders."

The union has called for a meeting with the firm's CEO Jeroen van der Veer about the "arrogant behaviour of certain execs in Aberdeen", Tran said.

He added the union was still considering taking legal action against the firm.

Shell has told Unite that it hoped to make £250m in savings via a number of outsourcing deals with contracts expected to be inked with EDS, AT&T and T-systems – a decision which has left 3,200 UK workers at the firm facing an uncertain future.

We asked Shell if it could tell us any more about its offshore plans, but a spokeswoman told us "we don’t really have an update on that at the moment." ®

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