Ask BP to pay their ex-employees in Zambia their agreed pension after 20 years
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There are 236 former employees of BP in Zambia who still haven't been paid their pension by British Petroleum after almost 20 years. The former CEO of BP, Lord John Browne, who was the CEO of BP at the time that this pensions dispute started, wrote in an email in 2001 that he believed the pensioners should be paid in full. Almost 20 years and 4 court cases later, this still hasn't happened.
Enough is enough - we are asking Lord Browne to come out publicly and speak up for what is right - that BP settle this issue immediately and pay their former employees what they deserve.
There are 236 claimants involved in the ongoing court cases. The money they are claiming is in most individual cases not a huge amount - but it was money that they were relying on - that would have gone towards their families, the education of their children, their healthcare.
And it is their money.
Listen to the BP pensioners' stories here:
Former BP employees ask Lord John Browne for help getting their agreed pensions
After cases against BP in the high court, supreme court and assessment court - all of which the pensioners have won - it has become a matter of principal that their pension rights should be respected and paid in full. No one wants to spend 20 years of their life arguing over interest fees and details of payments that should have been made years ago.
Why are we addressing this petition to Lord John Browne?
We are addressing this petition to Lord John Browne because he was the CEO of BP International at the time that the dispute started. He even instructed BP to pay the pensioners in full in a private email that has since surfaced. But ultimately, for whatever reason, his instructions were not carried out, he moved on and the pensioners remain unpaid.
Lord John Browne is no longer at BP, but he is still an active member of the board at Letter One Energy and we believe with his influence and support - both as the former CEO who was ultimately responsible for BP's behaviour around the world - and now, as a Member of the House of Lords - that the situation can be resolved.
We believe he is fundamentally a good person who was trying to balance the competing demands of a very difficult job - but we also believe that CEOs are paid a lot of money to do that job and that the consequences of actions they take or do not take during their tenure necessarily carry on afterwards.
His responsibility as a human being does not end with the end of his contract.
We therefore believe that he has a moral duty to come out and speak up for the victims in public - as he once did in private - and do whatever he can to make things right. He may not be able to fix things straight away, but he will be able to give hope to the pensioners that they are not going to be ignored and put off for ever. That someone who was responsible for the situation is listening to them, someone in authority is thinking about how to make things right.
Of the original 236 claimants, including Expendito, that first took the case to court in 2002, 107 have subsequently died, from a mixture of old age, poverty, depression and alcoholism - without receiving their agreed pensions.
To repeat: 107 of the 236 original claimants have died during the legal process.
Their widows and their bereaved families are left to pick up the pieces - with the dilemma of whether to continue fighting the case, or to give up on what they are entitled to and move on with nothing.
Please help us to end this tragedy here and now by asking Lord Browne and BP International to become part of the solution to this problem for which they must take their share of the responsibility and let's hope we can finally let everyone involved enjoy the right to the pension they have earned in peace and with a clear conscience.
On behalf of the 236 pensioners,
& especially the first five of whom who are in the short film and are pictured above in the photo (left to right):
Gladys (71, worked at BP from 1981-1994)
Langford (BP employee from 1969 - 1995, 26 years) - "At one point our papers got stuck in a pigeon hole for 1 year. The marshall had misplaced the papers. Put them in the wrong pigeon hole"
Jenny (Widow whose husband worked at BP for a very long time and died of depression in 2009 a year before the first court case was won. "Though the money might come, it won't be enjoyed, because we will be eating the money that we didn't earn without the owner, and that will be really painful to me as a wife.")
Mathilda (Worked at BP for 15 years and 9 months. Is now almost blind and needs the money urgently for an operation on her eyes)
Expendito (Journalist who was the lead plaintiff in the court cases, worked at BP for 12 years - "Each time we think we have reached the end, there's more to be done. We won in the high court in 2010, in the Supreme court in 2014 and in the assessment court in 2016)
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