Boycott Shell Bulletin

(No. 8)
by Boycott Shell Campaign
Washington, DC, United States
Undated, about Fall 1987
4 pages
Type: Newsletter
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States, Denmark, Europe, Norway
Language: English
Contents: Week of Action Set of Nov. 7-14 • Boycott Featured In New TV Show • 3 Ways You Can Help • CBS Evening News Features Protests On Shell’s Role • Boycott Ad Trumps Shell's • Shell Clashes With South African Workers • Shell Admits: 'Time Seems To Be Past' For Pressuring Regime By Staying • International Action: • From 'The American Connection'… • BOYCOTT SHELL CAMPAIGN MATERIALS • The newsletter says Shell boycott coalitions throughout the world have set the week of November 7 through 14 as a time for coordinated activities. The newsletter says in the U.S., local groups are urged to organize the following types of actions: Leafleting at Shell stations to inform consumers about the boycott; Phoning Shell Oil Co.'s toll-free number; Pressuring city, county, and state governments to cut off contracts with Shell or discontinue the use of Shell credit cards for government business. The newsletter says actions to pressure state and local officials might include hearings, demonstrations, lobby days, petition campaigns, or lunch-time rallies; In recent months, local governments in the U.S. and other countries have begun to cut off ties with Shell; they range from Pike County, KY and East Palo Alto, CA, to Oslo, Norway, and three more cities and two counties in Denmark; in addition, a group of Danish housing companies decided to stop buying about $25 million per year in Shell heating oil and gasoline because of the boycott. The newsletter says a new, nationally distributed television documentary, "The American Connection" focuses on the Shell boycott; up to five million viewers will learn about the views of defenders and critics of the role of Royal Dutch/Shell and other multinational corporations in propping up the apartheid system in South Africa; "The American Connection" was independently produced by the American Labor Education Center, with partial funding from the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The newsletter says Royal Dutch/Shell tells international audiences that its role in fueling apartheid should be excused because it supposedly treats its South African employees well; yet Shell continues to clash with workers who demand improvements in their slave-labor pay rates. The newsletter says at the Rietspruit coal mine co-owned by Shell, black workers had to strike in August when management refused to provide more than a minimal pay increase; according to a union spokesman, police assaulted the workers with rubber bullets and arrested 14 of them, who then were fired; the strikers eventually went back to work without the increase they sought; a local leader of the National Union of Mineworkers said black Rietspruit miners make about $200 per month. The newsletter says at the Sapref oil refineries, also co-owned by Shell, black workers won a pay increase after being forced to take a strike vote and threaten to picket Shell's offices throughout South Africa. The newsletter says the chairman of Shell South Africa says in his annual report that corporations can no longer justify their involvement with South Africa by saying they can use their presence to work for change; the following are key excerpts from the report by John R. Wilson, head of Royal Dutch/Shell's South African subsidiary. The newsletter says Boycott supporters in 12 major industrialized countries are distributing literature urging citizens not to buy Shell products until Royal Dutch/Shell withdraws from South Africa. The newsletter discusses Bill Lucy, the Free South Africa Movement, Gretchen Eick, the United Church of Christ, the Weekly Mail, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Pat Horn, the Chemical Workers Industrial Union (CWIU), British Petroleum, invest, Vera Brown, Hazzy Sibanyoni, the 16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama, leaflets, motorists, and Shell boycott supporters.
Used by permission of the United Mine Workers of America.
Collection: Kathleen M. Devine papers