Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/483/2321
LORD BROWNE, retiring chief executive of Britain's biggest oil company BP, has faced complaints from shareholders over his remuneration package. Browne's annual salary was some £1.5 million a year, and his 'golden goodbye' was reportedly as high as £72 million.
Nearly 20% of shareholders voted to oppose him getting this much. Most of them have no objection to top bosses living lives of luxury provided they are doing the same! Some were carping that BP share prices had been underperforming the FTSE index of leading companies.
Other investors raised BP's shocking safety record such as a chemical fire in its Texas City oil refinery in 2005 - 15 workers died and over 170 were injured. The shareholders were worried that overtly cost-cutting, profit-chasing activities harmed BP's image and hit stock market prices.
Our solution to corporate contempt for safety, huge profits, giant golden goodbyes and extremes of wealth and poverty is to start by taking the whole oil industry into public ownership under democratic workers' control.
In The Socialist 19 April 2007:
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party editorial
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis