No job loss in coming months – BP chief tells staff in ‘global town hall’

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The CEO of BP Plc Bernard Looney has promised the workers of the British oil and gas major that its response to the novel coronavirus does not include making any staff redundant over the next three months.

Writing in a LinkedIn blog post on March 27, 2020, Looney said, “There is enough to worry about right now in light of the pressures we all face. And we are serious about reducing the immense stress on our team.”

He stated that the situation is a reminder that people come first. “It is part of our new company purpose – and I hope you will have seen in the actions we are taking that it matters a great deal to us. We will keep going on this and go further,” he said.

The BP CEO said that it is important that people stay connected in what he referred to as extraordinary times. “Yesterday (March 26) I spoke with nearly 7,000 of our staff on a live webcast. I never imagined I would be doing my first global “town hall” from my flat in London but these are extraordinary times. And in extraordinary times – it’s even more important that we stay connected.

He pointed out how amazed he was by the work going on in BP with people rising to the challenge to safely and reliably deliver the energy the world needs. He said the highest praise must go to the company’s frontline staff for that.

“On the webcast I talked with the team about the fact that the economic environment right now is brutal, to be frank. It is a unique confluence of events. The global response to the coronavirus has reduced the demand for many of our industry’s products, at the same time as the supply of oil and gas has increased due to the OPEC+ alliance breaking down,” he wrote.

He said in these turbulent times, capital and costs must be managed and noted that the situation is not unprecedented. “We have been here before. The oil price was around what it is now when I joined the company 29 years ago. We will respond by taking calm, deliberate action to manage capital and costs. But – of course – it is no less worrying for our people,” he said.

On its website, BP noted that it is working across the company’s operations in response to these unprecedented circumstances “that our people and communities now face” as the impact of coronavirus – or COVID19 – touches every corner of the globe.

“Our executive support team and other leadership teams are meeting daily to address and respond to the ever-changing conditions in the countries where we operate,” BP said.

BP said it is focused on supporting governments’ calls to limit the spread of COVID-19, “while ensuring the supplies of energy, fuel and vital petrochemical feedstocks are uninterrupted.”

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