ROTTERDAM - A blockade of stakend Shell staff at the Pernis refinery is forcibly removed. Bone Teams would have acted on behalf of the Shell management. Whether the strike goes even further decide the union tomorrow.

A few hundred people would, dressed in dark overalls, the gates are past, people say the union. Armed with heavy tongs, burners and a welding set it clipped the gate open.

Since there were already cases hits and also was an atmosphere of violence in other ports, Industry Association took all strikers to the action center. Criminals could thus work the land again.


Chairman Arie Freek Industry FNV was there when the gate was forced from the Shell site. He speaks of "brute force" and calls it 'irresponsible'. Industriebond CNV, that is not behind the action, approves also finish the work by Shell.

Shell's management denies that violence is used. There are footage taken, so that there is evidence that the removal of the blockage 'noiseless' is expired, the company announces NRC Handelsblad.

The unions carry all five weeks of action for the introduction of a five-day working week 35 uur. Currently running a portion of the employees in continuous service four services per week. That is physically too heavy, so say the unions.

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In recent days, increased the internal protest against strike. The Council of Shell does not support the actions.

President Ockeloen says the strike there soon the jobs lost, where unions seem hard to fight. "Through this action we all go to the basement", he announced to the NRC Handelsblad. "Winners and losers are not in this case. There are only losers. But I am quite sure that Shell has the longest breath. "

Yesterday conducted five hundred willing to work action in the center of Rotterdam. Mayor Van der Louw received a petition signed by almost four thousand employees. That equates to more than half of the staff of Shell Pernis and Moerdijk.

Also yesterday Shell employees were stopped wanting to work at the port. Thus the activists went against the ultimatum that Shell had asked. That first work attackers were three o'clock yesterday afternoon, weather permitting on site, so that the refinery did not have to be shut down completely.

FNV president Wim Cook can count on support from within- and abroad. Besides statements of support from the staff of companies like Esso, AKZO, Mobil and Hoogovens there was also support from foreign trade unions. When fertilizer company Albatros (a subsidiary of Shell and DSM) Work was also down this week.

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The strike at Shell ensures that other parties also get in trouble. There threatens to create a fuel shortage at the pumps, not only in Netherlands, but also in parts of Belgium and West Germany.

According to Shell, it is not possible to cope with the fuel shortage by importing fuel from abroad. The oil company has been a few tankers, which would not be unloaded in Rotterdam, let divert to other ports.

Because there is no oil is processed in Pernis, and the oil recovery of the NAM (Dutch Petroleum Company) just go, also seems now to be in trouble. NAM investigated even though the possibility to hire supertankers, where crude oil could be stored in.

Especially in the transport sector, the situation is dire. Some companies only have a few days of fuel. The regional is already thinking about emergency measures.

Hoe ging het verder?

In the weeks after the end of the strike at Shell became more and more clear about what exactly had occurred at the refinery.

Shell had previously informed the police about the breaking of the blockade of the port. The police responded that would not help the police, but would only intervene, if the situation would get out of hand. By Mayor Van der Louw was also the FNV informed.

About the work attackers, according to the unions also have something to do. At the demonstration in Rotterdam, would staff the offices in Rotterdam and The Hague are recruited to join.

Albeda Minister of Social Affairs was also the case in the stomach. Therefore advice was sought from the Economic and Social Council (TO BE) a new strike code, the rights and duties of not only the strikers, but also of the work wishers controls in a labor dispute.

FNV president Wim Cook (Laterite PM) SER was not really good party to establish such a strike code. The CNV was no problem.

The strike, Shell, according to its own calculations, zo’n 50 cost million guilders. It has to 6 oktober 1979 lasted until quite Shell Pernis was operational again.

A month later there was a collective agreement on the table. CNV, which did not support the action at Shell, signed the agreement. FNV did not. The documents no commitments were made because of the introduction of the 35-hour week. However, the collective agreement for all employees gold.

Employees of Shell Pernis have a few months later founded their own union, dissatisfaction with the existing unions. It went mainly to grant work, thus were willing to work, but could not.

In December, the Industry FNV came back with a proposal for a five-shift system. Over there was again talk, but it did not again. Yet most companies switched to the new system. Pas in 1989 Shell tacked.

The above story is written for the Month History 2018. The theme of this year's uprising. Central to this story is the way an uprising or strike may be beaten down sometimes in unexpected way.


The truth – 27-09-1979 – Albatross follows Shell

Het Vrije Volk – 27-09-1979 – Shell Strikers get help from abroad

TVNZ – 27-09-1979 – Management Shell enables strikers ultimatum

Het Vrije Volk – 28-09-1979 – Shell strike over: bent for violence

TVNZ – 28-09-1979 – Shell intervention puts an end to strike

Het Parool – 28-09-1979 – FNV-bond blaast staking Shell af

TVNZ – 29-09-1979 – Government pleased with Shell end strike

Trouw – 05-10-1979 – Albeda asks SER advisory strike code

Het Vrije Volk – 09-10-1979 – Shell reported first action by the police

Het Parool – 06-11-1979 – Shell-cao is only illustrated by CNV-bond

Trade union FNV – The strike at Shell in 1979

Leeuwarder Courant – 21-12-1979 – FNV again to Shell with five teams requirement

Author: Dave Datema

published: 01-10-1979

story number: 204

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