NETHERLANDS - Royal Dutch Shell has bowed to union demands to allow existing workers at its Netherlands operations to continue to retire at 60, instead of its proposed new age of 65. The statutory retirement age for all new employees is 65.
Following an agreement reached yesterday, Evert Jan van de Mheen, a spokesman for the Christian trade union CNV Chemie en Energie, confirmed that workers would reciprocate by beginning to contribute 2% to the pension scheme from 1 January next year.
Union-organised strikes at Shell facilities began on Monday (31 October), when the company refused to back down over its pension reform proposals.
The agreement, which applies to Shell’s 10,800 employees in the Netherlands, including those at the Dutch crude society (TOOK), followed talks between representatives of Shell in the Netherlands, the Central Staff Council (COR) and the trade unions.
Shell management has now requested that unions end industrial action at the key Pernis and Moerdijk plants as soon as possible, so that capacity-level production can resume. It has also asked that industrial action planned at NAM (Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij) be dropped.
The compromise has been enabled by the creation of a life-course regulation into which Shell will pay 3% of the salary for all current and future employees.
An additional employer’s contribution of 5% (maximum) can also be made into the life-cycle savings scheme for present employees in exchange for 2 days of reduced working time and the 2% employee pension contribution.
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