In every community there is a large employer some of them are large relative to the other employers. However in every community, the large employer tends to make life for politicians see grey rather than black and white. On the plus side is people have jobs, the company pays taxes and on the negative side is the employer and the community’s interests are not always aligned, sometimes they are not aligned.
In an article by Melissa Eddy of the New York Times News Service, an example of the above is seen. In Schwedt, Germany a large oil refinery has been operating for decades (think of the refineries in the Baytown area around Houston). The refinery has been and is providing jobs for thousands of people and Berlin has a reliable source of gasoline, jet fuel and heating oil. The issue is the oil comes from Russia.
Ever since Russia invaded the Ukraine, the European Union and countries around the world have been backing the Ukraine and by not buying Russian oil and gas, the revenues of Russia should fall and maybe put pressure on withdrawing their troops from the Ukraine.
The refinery in Schwedt is called the PCK refinery which is linked back to when Germany was East and West Germany with the Eastern side connected to the Soviet Union. The refinery is owned by Soviet oil giant – Rosneft and the oil comes from the longest pipeline in the world bringing oil from Siberia.
The officials who run the refinery have no interest in using oil that is not from Russia. If the Russian tap is turned off, Rosneft shares would have to be sold. Shell, Europe’s largest energy company owns 37.5% of the shares but last year, Shell has trying to sell its stake. Things are different with the invasion.
Alcmene, part of the privately owned Liwathon Group in the UK is willing to examine share ownership.
25 years ago, unemployment in the Schwedt was 25%. The refinery has over 10% of the jobs in the area tied to the refinery output, workers are reluctant to stop Russian oil.
Linking to dividend paying stocks, often companies making a profit have capital investments and given the size of the company tends to have a say in local government. One hopes the capital investment in communities is beneficial to employees and the local government but sometimes things out of the control of the local government happens. Who should benefit and what can the profitable company do?
There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.