The High Court yesterday directed Chevron Bangladesh to provide the Tk 620 crore due to the employees of the US oil and gas company.
The money should be equally distributed amongst 600 employees immediately, according to the HC order.
The bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir Lytton came up with the order after hearing a writ petition, which was collectively filed by 538 Chevron employees.
A lawyer for the petitioners, Barrister Omar Sadat, told The Daily Star that an “out of court settlement” had recently taken place between Chevron Bangladesh and its employees. The lawyers of the petitioners and Chevron have informed the HC about the settlement.
The company has agreed to give the due money to the employees.
Chevron is supposed to share five percent of net profits with its workers and officials under Bangladesh Labour Act 2006, Omar said, adding that the law also permits the government to take legal action against the company for not doing so.
Around 72 million US dollars have been due to the employees of Chevron since 2006, the lawyer said.
The HC declared the writ petition filed in 2016 disposed of, Omar said.
Following the same writ petition, the HC on December 15, 2016 issued a rule asking the government to explain why it should not be directed to take appropriate legal action against Chevron Bangladesh for not sharing the part of its profit.
In the petition, the employees urged the HC to order the government to take necessary action against Chevron for not giving a part of profit to them -- accumulated from 2006 to 2013.
Following a supplementary writ petition filed on April 10, 2017, another HC bench directed the government not to release the due funds of the employers of Chevron Bangladesh to the company, as they apprehended that the it might leave the country without paying their dues.
The April 10, 2017 order has been lifted following yesterday’s HC order, Omar added.
Naim Ahmed appeared for Chevron Bangladesh.