Posts Tagged ‘Shell’

Shell’s “Job Migration”: Program: Exacerbating the Economic Crisis

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Royal Dutch Shell’s program to slash 5,000 jobs by the end of 2009, many of them at its US headquarters in Houston, Texas, is the latest example of the impact of neoliberal globalization on working people.  Dubbed a “job migration” by Shell, the program will transfer many good-paying corporate white-collar jobs to “shared service centers” in India and the Philippines.

The history of Shell in the USA follows the corporate strategy of what we have called a war of attrition against US labor.  Shell moved its US headquarters from New York City to Houston in 1970 at the height of the runaway shop movement in order to exploit cheaper white-collar labor in the US South and is now jumping on the bandwagon of offshoring to the Far East for the same purpose — to increase profitability.

The rationale that Shell offers is that they must “get leaner to compete”, but their latest labor program, dubbed, Transition 2009, though good for the company’s bottom line, exacerbates the economic crisis in the US — every job lost reduces the demand for goods and services and undermines the position of working people even more.  This pervasive practice of offshoring is another neoliberal initiative that is as short-sighted as the runaway shop program was.

Until sustainable economic policies replace the opportunistic schemes of neoliberal globalization — the position of working people across the nation will continue to deteriorate.  We have listed specific policy changes for meeting the present crisis in the Fighting Back section of “The Fight of Our Lives”.