Having respect for and being respectful of other people is ingrained in us from an early age and is an important value to have both from a personal perspective as well as within a business context.

BP pensioners deserve respect. Their legacy underpins the bp of today. That they have earned it is without question. However bp pensioners have become increasingly dismayed at the response from bp leadership in regard to their concerns. They won’t meet the bp pensioner campaign representatives in spite of many requests from bp pensioners to do so. It’s as if they have deemed that the concerns of bp pensioners are simply not worthy of discussion and closed the door. In other words, respect for their pensioners, the bp old guard, is demonstrably in short supply from the most unexpected quarter, namely the bp leadership.

Yet RESPECT is a bp core value.

Core values are tenets that sit at the heart of big organisations like bp. They are supposed to be ingrained principles that guide all of a company’s actions. They should never be compromised. All staff are expected to work by them and espouse them and they apply to everyone from the CEO down.

Core values are a big deal. A very big deal.

For their part the bp organisation promotes being respectful in ALL their relationships. They not only pay respectful consideration to how people interact within the company but also seek to be respectful towards the people that they work with outside of the company. “Build strong relationships based on trust and honest discussion” bp staff are urged and “Listen carefully and consider different perspectives”. All good stuff. BP clearly aspire to be a good partner and a good neighbour. Similarly BP states “We care about the consequences of our decisions, large and small, on those around us”, and they do… in the main…

…unless it seems, if you are a bp pensioner.

Then some of these words start to ring a little hollow.

There is a belief held within at least part of the bp pensioner population that the pension fund surplus is consciously being kept “fat for market” and that likely underpinned the decision to decline the 4% discretionary increase, as requested by the bp pension trustees. Nothing that has been said recently has done anything to allay that concern. Articles published in the press about a possible pension scheme “buy-in” have done much to reinforce this view.

How can it be that a company that cared so much, can now care so very little? When did bp stop viewing bp pensioners as people and start viewing them as a commodity?

My respectful request to the bp leadership is if you truly RESPECT YOUR PENSIONERS and espouse the values that you expect your workforce to live by then come to the table and talk with bp pension campaign representatives. There is much to discuss and continually putting up stonewalls will not resolve this.