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Tension mounts as Chevron prepares to quit Bangladesh

  • Published at 08:31 pm January 2nd, 2017
  • Last updated at 09:07 pm January 2nd, 2017
Tension mounts as Chevron prepares to quit Bangladesh
At the core of the employee-management tussle is Chevron's failure to settle change of control compensation, end benefits and Workers Profit Participation Fund (WPPF) benefits before initiating negotiations with potential buyers. Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune Monday, an employee of Chevron Bangladesh, seeking anonymity, said: “The company has already started commercial discussions with potential buyers. As such, the uncertainty of the 600 employees is mounting, with the future of the company and job security at stake.” Chevron employees association recently met company management to discuss their demands that all benefits be settled before a deal is struck by Chevron. Chevron Bangladesh Communications Manager (External Affairs) Shaikh Jahidur Rahman said that Chevron does not comment on ongoing legal proceedings.
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The employees association also demanded the disbursement of 5% of the WPPF, which Chevron has never released. While Chevron is generally regarded as a regulation compliant company, they are yet to comply with the WPPF Act since it was implemented in 2006. Aside from Chevron, every other multinational and Telecom company has disbursed the required 5% from the WPPF. The employee also said that they (employees) were in a vulnerable position, with concerned comments from family members and broader society having an impact on their day to day life. Some employees had grown demoralised and frustrated with the impasse in negotiations, which was reducing their productivity, while a portion of them were contemplating legal action, he added.
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Chevron supplies almost 60% of the total gas produced in Bangladesh, and this growing frustration among employees could lead to a volatile situation that disrupts smooth supply of gas to the national grid. Discussions between the parties currently remain at a standstill, however, the management authority has shown some interest in discussing the demands, said employees wishing to remain anonymous.