FACT CHECK: Is Shell Laying Off 9,000 Workers Because Of Joe Biden?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook over 800 times claims energy producer Royal Dutch Shell is laying off 9,000 workers because of President Joe Biden.

Verdict: False

The company announced the job cuts in September 2020, before the presidential election. A Shell spokesperson said the post’s claim is “inaccurate.”

Fact Check: 

Facebook users have been sharing an image that inaccurately alleges Shell is laying off thousands of workers because of Biden and his administration, despite the energy firm announcing the job cuts before the 2020 presidential election.

Shell announced at the end of September 2020 that it plans to cut 7,000 to 9,000 jobs, according to BBC News and Reuters. Ben van Beurden, the CEO of Shell, said in an interview published on the company’s website Sept. 30, 2020, that the layoffs will occur “by the end of 2022.”

“We do not have an exact figure because the details are still being worked out, and we have never had a target to reduce a particular number of jobs. But we can say that, because of the efficiencies we expect to gain, we will reduce between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs by the end of 2022,” van Beurden said. “This includes around 1,500 people who have already agreed to take voluntary redundancy this year, but excludes any who may leave Shell because of divestments.”

Curtis Smith, a Shell spokesperson, also told Check Your Fact that the Facebook post is “inaccurate.” (RELATED: ‘The US Became A Net Oil Exporter For The First Time In 75 Years’)

“The assertion that Shell is eliminating jobs as a result of moves made by the Biden Administration is inaccurate,” Smith said in an email. “In September of 2020, Shell announced up to 9,000 positions would be eliminated as part of a broader effort to reduce costs, simplify the company’s structure and accelerate investments in lower-carbon energy products.”

The presidential election occurred on Nov. 3, 2020, roughly a month after Shell had announced the job cuts. The Associated Press and other media outlets declared Biden the projected winner four days later on Nov. 7.

Shell had previously committed in April 2020 to becoming a net-zero emissions company by 2050, Reuters reported.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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