Chevron had rolled out plans in October 2015 to sell off assets worth $10 billion by 2017. (Representative image) Photograph: (Reuters)
The US firm has not provided any assurance to the future of 571 members of its Bangladesh workforce, as it signs deals with a Chinese firm
Employees of Chevron Bangladesh say that four months since the US firm disclosed about its sellout plans, it has not made any commitment to the employees about how the transition would take place.
China’s state-run Zhenhua Oil has signed a preliminary deal with Chevron to buy its stakes in Bangladesh consisting of three gas fields worth about $2 billion, reported Reuters. Chevron confirmed to WION about having commercial discussions without going into the details of the negotiations.
The Chevron Bangladesh Employees Union in a recent statement said that the company’s 571 national employees are being kept in the dark as they face “uncertainty about their life and career”.
Union’s general secretary SM Shahriar Abedin told WION that the employees demand full payment of gratuity and five per cent workers participation fund as per the labour law and a compensation for the company’s abrupt departure. The company has been communicated about these demands on behalf of the union.
“Management has not been able to ensure us in any of the issues. We have been sitting with them for last four months but they have not been able to tell us about the buyer or how the next company will adopt us,” Abedin told WION.
The concerns came a day after Zhenhua’s purchase of the US firm’s stakes in Bangladesh was reported.
Zhenhua is a subsidiary of China's defence industry conglomerate NORINCO. A completed deal would mark China's first major energy investment in the South Asian country, where Beijing is competing with New Delhi and Tokyo for influence.
In Bangladesh, Chevron has been operating three gas fields in Bibiyana, Jalalabad and Moulvi Bazar, which produce more than half of Bangladesh’s total gas output.
Chevron however, has not provided a conclusive statement on the future of their employees in Bangladesh.
“We are committed to maintaining a constructive dialogue with our employees, who form an integral part of the value of Chevron Bangladesh through their focus on a safe work culture and their commitment to delivering reliable supplies of natural gas to power the Bangladesh economy,” Cameron Van Ast, spokesperson for Chevron told WION.