Axed Caltex station operators turned away from HQ

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PETALING JAYA: About 20 former Caltex petrol station operators and personnel who went to Chevron Malaysia to demand compensation following the termination of their contracts, were denied a meeting with the petroleum company today.

The group was turned away at 4.30pm today when they showed up at the headquarters of Chevron Malaysia Limited in Sri Damansara, which oversees Caltex stations in the country.

However, they did hand over to a company representative, a memorandum to demand an explanation for their termination.

Affected retailer Fadzilah Abdul Hamid said they were told that the officials they wanted to meet were not in the headquarters, with one said to be overseas.

This was not the first time Fadzilah, who used to operate a station in Sungai Buloh, had been turned away as he was prevented from entering the office earlier this week.

caltex_0914_12“I’m not asking for much. I just want to talk to the person in charge,” he said.

“They had promised to meet with us, but nothing has happened,” he told reporters.

Fadzilah said the former operators would appeal to the domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism ministry to intervene if the company failed to address their plight.

Also present at the gathering were representatives of the Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia (PDAM) and Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia (PPIM), a Muslim consumer body.

PDAM president Khairul Annuar Abdul Aziz claimed that the dealers who had their contracts ended were “treated very poorly”.

He also claimed that the terminations were one sided, but did not elaborate.

“I hope other petrol station operators will also support them,” he said.

caltex_0914_123Last month, Chevron terminated the contracts of six operators, claiming it was a “business decision”.

The company, however, did not go into specifics, stating that they were “not legally obliged to provide any reason for the terminations”.

“Our position is that both parties should abide strictly by the contract provisions,” it said in a statement on June 21.

However, on June 24, the company revealed that the six who had their contracts terminated had brought a lawsuit against Chevron in 2008, which finally came to a conclusion at the end of 2016.

The decision to shut down their operations left a bitter taste among the affected operators who claimed they were in the dark over the reasons for the termination and also because it was done just after the Hari Raya celebrations.

Meanwhile, in an e-mail to FMT after the incident today, Chevron said a meeting must be scheduled first for any business appointment to be held at the headquarters.

caltex_0914_1It also said that no meetings were scheduled with Fadzilah, who had also attempted to meet representatives on Wednesday and Thursday, only to be barred from entering the office.

“The company reserves the right to only allow authorised visitors to access the office premises, and there is a security protocol to be followed.

“As of 17 July 2017, the company no longer has any further business dealings with the above-mentioned former Caltex retailer,” the e-mail read.

Asked to respond to claims that the company had been ignoring Fadzilah, it repeated that it no longer had any business dealings with him.

Nurul Azwa contributed to this article.

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