Royal Dutch Shell V Colectivo Alternativo Verde (CAVE) and SIPETROL-SP (Petroleum By-Product and Ore Workers' Labour Union of the State of Sao Paolo)

Overview

NCP Decision Accepted
Current Status Closed
Date Submitted 08/05/2006
Date Closed 25/03/2009
Case Duration 150 weeks and 2 days
Host Country Brazil  (Adhering Country)
Issue(s) Workers' Health and Safety
Provisions Cited IV.4-b   
Case Description In May 2006, the Brazilian and the Dutch NCPs were requested by the NGO Green Alternative Collective (CAVE) and the trade union Sipetrol-SP (Petroleum By-Product and Ore Workers' Labour Union of the State of Sao Paolo) to take action in relation to the operations of Shell in Brazil. The case was based on a report by the State Health Secretary stating a number of irregularities pertaining to workers’ health and safety. Specifically Shell and Esso are accused of failing to act on complaints by the State Secretary for Health regarding violations of federal, state and municipal legislation, as well as violation of ILO clauses. The complaints were submitted following the diagnosis of 65 illnesses arising from contamination due to exposure to products containing dangerous chemicals.

In addition, the case was presented to the ILO and the Wordl Health Organisation.

Developments In June 2006, the Brazilian NCP accepted the case. The Dutch NCP also stated its intention to follow the issue.
Outcome On 29th March 2009 the Brazilian NCP reported that after a long process of trying to establish mediation it closed the case. It published a final statement in which it stated that the main obstacle was the existence of parallel legal proceedings.

"Since the complainants did not provide any further clarifications regarding the points that were not under judicial analysis and with regard to which there would be some possibility of NCP mediation nor did they contest Shell's allegations that the previously cited items were under judicial review, the NCP concluded that its involvement in this case would not be effective."

Organisations

Lead NCP Brazil NCP : Interministerial Body 
Supporting NCP Netherlands NCP : Independent Expert Body 

Companies

Multinational Company Shell (Home country: Netherlands)

Complainants

Lead Complainant Green Alternative Collective : Environmental 
Lead Complainant Sipetrol-SP : Regional/state sectoral union 

Related Documents

Brazilian NCP  [Publication date: 1/1/2008] 'FINAL COMPLAINT REPORT Nº 01/2006'
   http://www.fazenda.gov.br/sain/pcnmulti/documentos/relatorios/relatorio_01.06_e
   nglish.asp
[Date URL accessed: 5/8/2009]

Brazil NCP  [Publication date: 29/5/2009] 'Shell: FINAL COMPLAINT REPORT Nº 01/2006'
   http://www.fazenda.gov.br/sain/pcnmulti/documentos/relatorios/relatorio_01.06_e
   nglish.asp
[Date URL accessed: 22/6/2010]

TUAC Analysis

Did the NCP publish its initial assessment? status-icon
Did the case involve parallel proceedings? status-icon
Was the existence of parallel proceedings an obstacle to the NCP accepting the case? status-icon
Was the businsess relationship other than that of a subsidiary? status-icon
Was the nature of the business relationship an obstacle to the NCP accepting the case? status-icon
Did the NCP inform other relevant government departments about its acceptance of this case? status-icon
Did the NCP offer mediation or conciliation? status-icon
Did the company accept the offer of mediation or conciliation? status-icon
Did the complainant(s) accept the offer of mediation or conciliation? status-icon
Was mediation or conciliation held? status-icon
Was mediation or conciliation conducted by a professional mediator? status-icon
Did the parties reach agreement? status-icon
If yes, did the NCP publish this agreement following the consent of the parties? status-icon
If mediation was refused or failed did the NCP make an assessment of whether the company had breached the Guidelines? status-icon
Did the NCP conduct in-host country fact finding? status-icon
Did the NCP make recommendations to the company on the future implementation of the Guidelines? status-icon
Did the NCP publish its final statement or report? status-icon
Did the NCP provide for follow-up of the agreement/recommendations? status-icon
Did the NCP inform other relevant government departments about its final statement or report? status-icon
Did the NCP inform public pension funds about its final statement or report? status-icon
Did the NCP apply any consequences in this case? status-icon
Did the NCP follow the indicative timescales set out in the procedural guidance? status-icon
Was there a positive outcome for the workers involved in this case? status-icon
Did the filing of the case under the Guidelines have a positive impact for the workers involved? status-icon
Did the lead NCP play a positive role? status-icon
If different, did the home NCP play a positive role? status-icon

TUAC Assessment

The NCP contends that, despite the fact that the case was closed without being successfully resolved. there is evidence that the NCP played a positive in encouraging Shell to implement social projects targeted at the population of the Vila Carioca and its surrounding areas. These were not related to the subject of the Complaint, but arguably are valuable in establishing a basis for dialogue and avoiding future confrontations. On the basis of the NCP\'s analysis it tried to find identify space for mediation by identying issues not subject to parallel legal proceedings. This assessment has still to be verified by the trade unions involved.

Implications

Parallel legal proceedings; the Brazilian NCP's approach was to offer its good offices for mediation on issues, which were not the subject of judicial proceedings