Boycott Shell Bulletin
by Boycott Shell Campaign
Washington, DC, United States
Undated, February or early March 1987
Contents: LOCAL ACTIONS SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 4 AND MAY 9 • Shell Facing Public Revolt Over Plastic Pipes • Shell Cited For 'Willful' Safety Violations • Despite Denials, Shell's Oil Reaches South Africa • Company Chairman Admits 'Engagement' Does Not Work • World Churches Issue Call • State Legislators Support Boycott • FUEL FOR THOUGHT… • Apartheid in Moving Pictures • SHELL BOYCOTT CAMPAIGN MATERIALS • Local coalitions are planning a variety of protest activities during national days of action for the Boycott Shell campaign from April 4 to May 9. A new Boycott Shell offensive was agreed to by anti-apartheid groups from the U.S., Great Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Belgium. At a meeting in the Netherlands, representatives of anti-apartheid coalitions in Europe and North America agreed to make Shell a prime target because it provides petroleum products to South Africa, which does not have oil of its own. The April 4 actions will coincide with protests called by the American Committee on Africa (ACOA) to protest corporate support for apartheid. Shell Chemical Co. is facing a public outcry because of health hazards and product failure involving polybutylene (PB) piping systems it markets across the U.S. According to testimony from Plumbers Local 75 before the Wisconsin state senate, the PB piping systems failed in 30 to 50 percent of houses within three weeks to three years of installation. Shell Oil Co. has been cited by federal inspectors for 61 "willful" violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) for failing to log various injuries. Members of Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Local 4-367 brought these violates to the attention of OSHA officials. The Shipping Research Bureau of the Netherlands has identified 56 shipments of Shell crude oil that reached South Africa as recently as October, 1986. The Bureau said the oil was produced in the tiny Asian country of Brunei by a joint subsidiary of Royal Dutch/Shell and the Brunei government. The oil was passed through a chain of intermediaries before it reached the refinery co-owned by Shell South Africa, in violation of the United Nations oil embargo against South Africa. The World Council of Churches central committee urged church groups to "join the churches of Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. … to force Shell to withdraw from South Africa and Namibia." The National Black Caucus of State Legislators voted to support the Shell boycott and agreed to work to prevent the investment of public funds in Shell, state use of Shell credit cards, and state purchasing of Shell products. The newsletter includes quotes from Richard Trumka, president of the United Mine Workers, Owen Bieber, president of the United Auto Workers and chair of the AFL-CIO Committee on South Africa, and Randall Robinson, co-chair of the Free South Africa Movement. The newsletter includes excerpts of articles in the London Daily Mail, Manchester Guardian, and the magazine South Africa Leadership. The newsletter mentions the South African Defence Force (SADF), Southern Africa Media Center, California Newsreel, Icarus Films, and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).
Used by permission of the United Mine Workers of America.
Collection: Kathleen M. Devine papers