[EUROASIA] TNK-BP facing employee “law suit”

A group of employees from supermajor BP’s Russian joint venture TNK-BP appear to be sueing chief executive Robert Dudley, or the joint venture itself, for alleged “mismanagement”, judging from reports from Russia-based news agency Interfax. News agency Reuters cited Interfax Thursday, and said a “vice-president of legal issues” was heading up the suit for the workers, although Scandoil.com and BP could not confirm whether the suit had been filed with local magistrates.

The “disgruntled” employees were later described as bringing suit because Dudley’s term at the head of TNK.BP Management had expired, yet he was allegedly still descriminating against Russians in staffing decisions.

In contrast, BP told Scandoil.com there are some 85 foreign staff among TNK-BP’s 65,000 employees. Fewer than half of the 85 come from parent company BP.

Among TNK-BP top management, eight are foreigners and six are Russian business leaders. Two of TNK-BP’s four main businesses — including the key upstream business — are headed by Russians.

One of the key things TNK-BP has been working on is developing prominent Russian talent,” a BP source said.

Some 120 Russian managers have been sent abroad for international training, including stints with BP projects.

The limited numbef of foreign managers have had a postive contribution, although we clearly see the importantce of the Russian staff, and we’re clearly commmitted to boosting their numbers,” the source said.

The Russian employees' “suit” is understood to be headed by Elvardi Stefalov, who was reported as saying at a press conference Thursday that the legal action was not linked to a current corporate dispute which has pitted billionaire TNK-BP owners against BP in a struggle for the joint-venture’s future direction.

Source: Scandinavian Oil & Gas

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