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BG Group discloses Houston job cuts tied to Shell consolidation

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BG Group plans to cut at least 154 jobs as it vacates BG Group Place in downtown Houston and moves employees into the existing Houston offices of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE: RDS-A, RDS-B), which acquired BG Group in February.

BG US Services Inc. told the Texas Workforce Commission that it plans to cut 118 jobs on Aug. 31 and another 36 jobs on Sept. 30. The jobs to be cut are from the BG Group Place office, at 811 Main St., suite 3400.

“A small number of employees required to perform specific transition activities will remain employed at (811 Main St.) and laid off at a later date, once those transition activities have been completed,” the company wrote in its Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act letter to the TWC.

The affected employees do not have bumping rights, meaning workers with more seniority cannot take the jobs of those with less seniority.

“BG intends to offer severance benefits and outplacement services to affected employees,” the letter states. “It is our hope that these programs will lessen the impact of the mass layoff on the individual employees and on the community as a whole.”

In a memo sent on April 25, BG Group announced it plans to vacate BG Group Place by the end of the year. BG Group’s major North American operations are housed in the building. Once Shell’s $50 billion acquisition of BG Group closed in February, a footprint review was conducted on how to best integrate BG Group into Shell.

“After considering the findings for Houston, the decision was taken to consolidate all Houston-based operations into existing Shell offices,”Huibert Vigeveno, CEO of BG Group and executive vice president of integration at Royal Dutch Shell, wrote in the April 25 memo.

BG Group’s trading employees will relocate to 1000 Main, and all other BG Group staff will relocate to either One Shell Plaza in downtown Houston, the Shell Technology Center in West Houston off Highway 6 or Shell’s Woodcreek campus in the Energy Corridor at 200 N. Dairy Ashford Road, according to the memo.

During the month of May, BG Group accepted applications for voluntary redundancy — a financial incentive for employees who resign — from Houston employees, according to a separate memo.

During 2015 and 2016, Shell has announced plans for 12,500 job cuts, including some related to the BG Group integration. As of Dec. 31, Shell employed about 90,000 people companywide, and BG Group had about 4,600 employees. Shell employed 11,892 people in Houston as of summer 2015, according to Houston Business Journal research.

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