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Shell Marketing Gambia Dragged to Court

Aug 14, 2009, 6:57 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Shell Marketing Gambia Limited, now GALP, has been dragged to court by its former Project Manager, Abake Williams.

Williams has gone to the Industrial Tribunal to seek redress for the recovery of D1, 288,527.35, being the redundancy payment due to her from the defendant, her former employer.

She is also seeking redress for damages done to her for unfair dismissal under Section 84/ 86 of the Labour Act 2007, as well as damages for breach of contract, resulting in the loss of future earnings, bonus payments and loss of opportunities and interest at the rate of 20 percent per annum from 31 October 2008 to the date of judgment, and thereafter 4 percent to date of payment.

According to the particulars of claim, the claimant had worked for the Shell Marketing Gambia Limited for almost nine years as a Stock and Sales Accountant, earning D8, 538.00 per month. She was later promoted to a SOPAF Opex Bay Project Manager, earning a salary of D45, 493.08 per month.

In the claim, she indicated that as SOPAF Opex Bay Project Manager, her work was regional and involved working with other Shell Internationals, based in thirty-three African jurisdictions, which work was only possible through Shell Gambia's unique international online network.

 The claim states that at all material time, Shell Gambia operated under the rules and regulations of Shell International, which were applicable to all staff members, including the claimant. It added that sometimes in May 2008, Shell International announced that it was selling its shares in Shell Gambia. It further stated that "the claimant was also concerned about the future of her career and was unsure whether the new employer's organizational structure had a similar or equivalent role to hers, and vigorously sought clarification on the implications of this sale on her career".

According to the claim, on 22nd September 2008, Shell International had advertised the claimant's position, which was subsequently filled.

As a result, the claimant was requested to hand over, which she refused to do and on 30 October 2008, Shell International cancelled the claimant's access to its internal network, hence rendering her incapable of working.

And on 31 October 2008, the claimant was informed that Shell International had sold its shares in Shell Gambia, a day when the claimant also took a week of leave because of the death of a family member.

The claim further indicated that Shell Gambia had changed its name to GALP Gambia limited, effective 7 November 2008, since then the claimant's job no longer existed and was left with no choice but to resign.

 The tribunal, chaired by Senior Magistrate Lamin George, adjourned the case until 27 August 2009.